Saturday, February 21, 2015

Jumble of January

After our nice vacation back east with family, we jumped right back into a full schedule at home.

The Sunflower Tournament took place the second weekend in January. We watched games, sat at the admission table, and observed our son being awarded his first basketball medal (as his team placed 1st)! Most of the rest of the season's games are way away...1, 2, and 3 hours from home. We are finally catching on to the pack lunch/supper plus snacks thing down. And don't eat during the short intermission or you might miss your child's baskets!

We enjoyed some snowy weather and some warm weather within a week of each other!

Riley sat in the tree stand on the last day of deer season (with a borrowed crossbow) and shot a doe right through the heart . We quickly butchered it the next morning as the temperature was so unseasonably warm and we wanted no rotting meat. Since we have plenty of ground venison in the freezer, we made 16 pounds of jerky and the other 26 pounds into stew meat chunks.

We took a field trip with PCHEA to the Historical Museum and the Wildlife & Parks Museum to celebrate Kansas Day.

A new salad recipe was tried (for those pack your lunch moments when lunchmeat is boycotted-by mom, chicken salad is not appreciated-because of its messiness, and pasta salad is abhorred-by everyone; but it is so easy and filling so I keep trying).

Another batch of chicken bone broth was slow-cooked for more January soups.

Other significant remembrances:

We started watching Chuck Missler's series, Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, on Sunday mornings with a small group.

Hubby spent the day with a friend coming and going to Nebraska to check out farm machinery.

We enjoyed a card game night with cousins, chili soup at friends, and a Pizza Hut treat with more friends.

That is January in a Jumble!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New House Siding

This was our house.

After our 4 month road trip we came home to this remodel project behind an overgrown weedy lawn. (As in it had not been mowed all spring until our arrival in June.)

We finished the interior main room before moving in near the end of a very hot summer. There are a few pictures here and here and here to see the progress.

We planted a north and south tree wind break
We finished digging out the partially dug pond (that is unfortunately still dry).

Then we got ready to side the outside of our house.
We switched out old windows for new.
We enclosed a small triangular dead-space.
We house-wrapped it and painted the foundation.
We installed recessed lighting under the front porch and back patio.

Then the siding began to go on!

And facia and soffit!

(My hubby is especially fond of his lighting expertise over the patio.)

 We painted the front door.

This is our house.

Holiday Time in Ohio Valley

Friday evening sandwiches, salad, & singing with family (plus friends. Surprise!)

A couple days in southern Ohio eating, relaxing, sipping hot drinks, and reconnecting by the wood stove.

father and sons -minus one
A field trip to the Serpent Mound and the House of Phacobs, viewing rocks, minerals, & fossils, newspaper articles of strange phenomena, and peaking my hubby's interest in extra-terrestrial beings.

Baptism... Hallelujah!

More resting, out of the cold. 
Or for the more adventurous...into the snow
It was chilly in Ohio in January!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Holiday Time in the Virginia Hills

Christmas cousin dress-up time at Grandma's! We opened boxes and emptied stockings with matching jammies, outfits, and lots of other little delights.

We used up one gift right away...shooting skeet against the Blue Ridge back-drop. It was really mild weather for the end of December!

Family times always require special foods. This year's Christmas dinner ended with creamy cheesecake and homemade raspberry topping.

The hubby and I took a night away to celebrate 15 years of marriage. It was a couple months later than our anniversary but grandparents gladly kept the children. Unfortunately many of them and the cousins got a tummy bug while we were away meandering through art galleries and enjoying an elegant urban bed & breakfast.

The bigger family holiday gathering brought in more cheerful cousins. 
We toured the old homeplace Grandaddy-Great built as a field trip down memory lane (and learning experience for us younger ones.) 

We ripsticked and learned to ripstick. 
We skyped with missing family. 
We ate burritos, fruit, chicken, salad, cake, veggies, bread, snacks, and more. 
We climbed all over the playset. 
We balanced on the zip line. 
We looked at pictures. 
We dabbled on the piano. 
We played the name game. 
We opened money cards. 
We chatted, discussed, explained, and caught up.

Ah, family!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Charleston, SC Heritage

The week before Christmas we spent a few days at Grandmama's.

Almost all the local family came in Sunday afternoon for desserts. Hurray for seeing aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousin's children that live 1200 miles away. Lots can change in two years time, since our last visit, but some things are always the food and family squeezed around Grandmama's table squeezed in her tiny house. And her southern big breakfast cookin'.

We mostly relax while we're visiting and thoughtful aunts usually bring over activities for the children. City living is quite a change for our country kiddos. We brought along roller blades to make use of all the available pavement, but unfortunately it rained during most of our stay.

One evening after the skies cleared, we ventured downtown (and that is an adventure for way streets, ack!) and walked along the bay from The Battery to Waterfront Park. My parents have framed pictures of some of these special places Dad remembers well from childhood, and it is always sweet to me to be able to share the real life place with my own children -  their papaw's heritage.

We enjoyed more visits and gifts from family.

One morning we drove a few miles to the coast. The girls mostly got soaked, then chilly. It started to sprinkle just as we got de-sanded and situated in the vehicle for the ride back to Grandmama's.

For several hours we chatted about Grandmama's life in the 40's and 50's. What her childhood and young married life was like growing up in a different era, different setting, different circumstances. The oral history interview questions from The Well Trained Mind was completed during several sessions. Remembering can be taxing, especially the hard times, of which she endured many. Of course we learned fun tidbits too, like that she and her older brother won dancing contests at the local dance hall!

Praising God that Grandmama is still spunky in her 80's! 
And that He is the Great Redeemer!