Memorial Camping

Growing up for me,
everything was orderly, on time,
things were planned in advance,
you pretty much knew what was happening when.

Got married and as usual, opposites attract.
You do the math.

This would be the reason the subject of camping
was brought up on Sat and a few hours later,
there we all were, camping in my in-laws back yard.

I won’t lie and say it never stresses me out,
this method of madness,
but it usually works out pretty good
(if I just relax).

If we had all been able to come for the weekend,
it would have been chalked up as “family camping”
for the year, but a few had previous plans.
This just gives us reason for another weekend together.

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Weather wise, it was as if we had pre-ordered it.
It was perfection.

Lots of fishing and swimming happened.
If you look closely, you’ll see that only one man in the boat
seems to be working, while everyone else watches from the shore.

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Sometimes the most simple things entertain the best.

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“How does a fishing trip sound to you, girl?”

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“I would love to but I think our Moms prefer
we sit here and splash in this puddle.”

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For now, they are besties.
We hope it continues.

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The gang on the pond were pretty much the only swimmers.
Anyone older could only think of such things as slime and fish nibbles,
and anyone younger was stuck in a kiddie pool.
But what a party these guys had,
swimming, paddling, and rowing their way around
for much longer than I would have lasted.

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Tiny, the dog, went for a ride too.
I’m pretty sure he was exhausted until the weekend was over.

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This is the life, they say!
They would run half way across the lawn to jump in,
but just as they got to the pool they would stop,
step over the side and carefully sit down.

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When the gang was done in the pond,
Amanda made a water slide for them.
That took up a whole lot of their time and Grandma’s soap.
If the noise from this direction was any indication,
they were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

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Grandpa gave gator rides, as only Grandpa’s can.

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They usually started off by driving around the pond
and we don’t know where all they went from there.

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Lots of time sitting around the fire talking and eating.
One highlight was an engagement announcement.

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Of course there were sticky marshmallows involved
if there was a fire. It was camping after all.

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A few hours after this, I would pack up Kennedy
and sneak home to sleep in my nice bed.
Maybe next time I’ll do the real camping thing.
(just give me a little more notice)

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Monday morning the Mama of the gang
babied them all with a big pot of creamed eggs and toast.
I was happy to be the official “toaster of bread”
while they all gobbled up the eggs.

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He managed to do a little fishing of his own,
after all the camping gear and kid’s rod and reels were taken care of.
It’s his birthday today, and we are so very thankful for him.
I think the kids were more excited then he was.

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Off to see if anything will bite, one last time.

And what a good weekend it was.
Family times are the best.
Here’s to more just like it!

~~~

*Even with all my many trips home,I always forgot my camera
so this is a cell phone photo post.

Summer Begins

School is out.
Let the summer begin.
No more rigid schedule.
No more early bedtimes.
Eat what you want, do want you want,
read and sleep the summer away,
with a weekly trip to the pool, zoo,
or somewhere fun thrown in.
{think my girls}
Their Mother has a surprise for them!
Reagan silver dollar
Reagan managed to get a silver dollar for perfect attendance.
She was quite happy!

~~~
As for summer…

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Reagan has the air of a child released
when she gets to spend the day at home
with her imagination.

Before I knew what was happening,
she had a board up in the tree wedged between
2 branches and a climbing rope with knots tied in it.

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They spent the entire morning out there.

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They called me out one time to see this.
He had managed to climb up,
but was less than comfortable up there. :)
The girls helped him back down and he was
content to stay on the ground after that.

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He found a friend and played with him for awhile.
He’s teaching Kennedy to like them too.

~~~

5-14
We planted a few flowers.
Between me and the dog, they have little chance of survival.
I did not inherit Mother’s goodness with flowers.

~~~
Little One speaks.
And quiet a lot the last while.

While walking through Walmart the other day.
“It sinks in here. I sink it’s a sunk.”

Church time and her do not mesh so well right now,
improving slightly, but still not great yet.
She is unaccustomed to going out for reasons
other than disciplinary measures.
Well, the other day she had to pee during church
so we whisked her out and she went.
Back in we came and had just sat down in the pew
and she says loudly,
“Dat was fun …. I have to poop!”
Um no, this Mom does not fall for that trap.

Little One dog

A stray cat wandered in the lane.
Mr D came to tell me about it and says,
“I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl!”
She was listening and says,
“It’s not a boy or a girl. It’s a kitty!”

She’s not just talking,
she’s been up to a lot of other things too.

K marker legs
Madison brought her around last night looking like this.
She was fairly unrepentant.
She shook her fingers and said,
“Daddy say naughty, naughty, naughty!”
Right on!

It was a dry erase marker,
which came off the skin pretty well,
now I need to go see if it comes off clothes.

~~~
We rifled through the girls’ room yesterday.
One side stays fairly clean and organized.
One side does not. not. not.
We cleaned out drawers that have clothes
and other items pouring out.
It looks a lot better, to say the least.
One was tossing clothes to the Goodwill pile,
and when I looked around, to my horror,
the other one was snatching them up
and stuffing them into her clean drawers.
Sigh.

~~~

Food for thought:

5-12

I teach the youth girls Sunday school class.
The lesson was on Phil. 2 and we were talking about
esteeming others higher than yourself.
In our study books it talked about the value we give someone.

Quoting them:

Value is a choice we make to esteem something at a certain level. The rock gold comes from could be just as insignificant as any other pretty rock if it were not valued.

The value we place on others is a choice. We can choose to see ourselves as gold and others as common rocks or we can choose to attribute greater value to them. Once the choice of value is made, actions will follow to prove it.

What value do I put on other people?
Am I thinking of them as gold or common rocks?
Treat others as gold today,
you have no idea what they are facing.

Of Going Home

Recently a Facebook friend and her family moved to another state.
Last week she commented about being excited about going “home” for a visit.
A few people wondered why she is referring to her previous community
as home. My comment to her was,
“It will always be home,
no matter how long you have been gone!”

When you have moved away, you’ll realize
that sometimes you just need to go home.
There is a pull there that you just can’t explain.
I’m always glad to come back to my house and my people,
but occasionally, I just need to go home.

And so it was that we went “home” last weekend.

We rarely get to Indiana for Mother’s day
because there are just so many things happening
around this time of the year
so it was special to be able to be there this year.

Blog 5-12 (1) Madison wanted Grandma to teach her how to make pie crust since her Mother seems to be a failure at such a thing.

Blog 5-12 (2) I watched and listened too, hopefully between the 2 of us we can make something edible next time the pie craving hits.

Blog 5-12 (3) She’s such a good grandma to take the time to teach with patience.

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She was happy with the finished product and it tasted good too!

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Miss Libby and her Mama.

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These 2, were one is you’ll be sure to find the other.
They have so much fun together.

Blog 5-12 (7) ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans’ applies to Grandma’s house.
When at Grandma’s do whatever you want, Grandma will say it’s ok.
As in, let’s all drink a juicie right before lunch.

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Never been happier, this little chip muncher.
Grandma knows her first love, which explains the extra large bag of chips.

Blog 5-12 (9) A perfectly fine Sat night on the back porch.
Family, food, fun and laughter.
In the name of being honest, it included quite a lot of kid fights too.
What else can one expect when there are 7 kids, 4 and under.

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The cutest little stinker ever.

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Bike riding fun.
Try as she might, she could not make this thing go
so “Push me!” was the name of the game.

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Mr Grant, a busier little guy you will not find.
Just watching him makes me tired,
and thinking about chasing him all the time
makes me even more tired.

Blog 5-12 (13) It was each man for himself when the roasting sticks
came out for marshmallows.
And then it was another grabbing mess
when the marshies were opened.
I see my daughter scored 4 when 1 or 2 was the limit.

Blog 5-12 (14) Some like them burnt, some like them cold.

Blog 5-12 (15) I see she managed to eat all 4 too.
Mr D had a lot of trouble with his roasting technique
but the marshie went down the hatch anyway.

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And when all the marshmallows are roasted away,
you just go ahead and roast the carrot your aunt
jammed on the stick when you asked for one more.

~~~

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Mother’s day morning with my littles. (or not so littles)
I am blessed.
Many years ago I cried all morning one Mother’s day
because of not having my child to hold.
Today I have 4 and am so thankful for them.

Blog 5-12 (18) It was special to spend the weekend with my lovely mother.
There is so much to be said of her that words cannot describe it all.
For her, I am so very thankful!

Blog 5-12 (19) So glad my girls get to grow up spending time with their Grandma.
They love going to her house.
Madison was scanning the summer calendar
to see when they can go for a whole week.
Get ready Grandma.

Lest one would think we are all happy as pie while smiling so sweetly,
not to be missed is the blurry little foot of the smallest one.
She seems to think swift kicking helps when you are mad.

Of Honoring on Mother’s Day

It’s soon Mother’s day again.

Every year Mothers all around the world
are recognized on this day.

We honor our Mothers for all the hard work they do,
all the love they pour out on us,
and everything about them that make them the best.
We show our appreciation in many different ways,
flowers, gifts, cards, and best of all, a hug.

 This year I would like to honor another group of people.
These special ladies, if they would be mothers,
would be the very best kind that a mother could be.
They have no children, but yet are not childless in another sense.
There are many children that love them dearly
and are so very blessed to be loved by them in return.

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To these special ladies…

You have no children of your own,
yet you pour out your love to ours.

You share warm hugs and touch little hearts.

You give little gifts and make kids feel special.

You whisper kindness and they smile.

You hold out your arms and they run to you.

You invite them over and excitement abounds.
They know how much fun you are.

You show Jesus to these young souls,
impacting their little hearts forever.

You encourage busy young moms.

You babysit our kids and love on them.
It makes us feel good to know you love them too.

You lift us up when we are tired,
you lend a helping hand when days are long.

You help us to see the green grass
on our side of the fence
when we tend to forget and wish for your side.

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 This Lily of the Valley flower,
it’s bells are so tiny but their fragrance is divine.
You might think the little touches you
put into our children’s lives don’t mean much,
but they do.
It might seem small, the things you do,
but your influence will last a life time.

Today I want to bless you for all you do for us,
and for being the special kind of person
that loves our little people like your own.

Family Photography

This fall I had quite a few photo shoots
that I haven’t blogged about.
It’s time to remedy that.

I love to watch a family interact,
it doesn’t take long to figure out
what dynamic each member plays in the family.

You have to quiet ones, behind the scenes,
sometimes they remain that way,
other times their few words carry a lot of weight.

You have the comedian who keeps
the entire family laughing
and then pulls a few stunts for the camera.

You have a little one who dislikes photos,
and you have to pull out all the stops
to entertain and (bribe) that kind.

And usually there is the mom,
tugging, pulling, fixing and straightening everyone up!

All in all, it’s fun, it’s interesting and entertaining.

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Sour Cream Twists

Madison went through my stash of recipes
last Friday. When she was finished she had a list of
things to bake, much longer then my eyes could believe.

On the top of the list was Sour cream Twists.
She claimed she didn’t remember me ever baking them before.
I know I have, but it may have been many years ago.

Sour Cream Twists

They make a good breakfast food,
or a snack with coffee any time.

Sour Cream Twists (1)
Mix the dough, divide it in half and roll it out.
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Layer butter, and cinnamon sugar on half of it.

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Fold the dough over, seal the edges and cut into strips.
We had lots of help, as you can see.

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All twisted up and ready to rise and bake.

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The baker on the other side of the table was collecting scraps of dough.

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She created her own little pan
of all shapes and kinds of things.

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Once they are baked, give them a good healthy helping of frosting…
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… and try to keep the boy away from them.

Sour Cream Twists
Treat yourself for all your hard work!

~~~

Sour Cream Twists

1 C. Sour cream
-heat until almost boiling.
remove from heat and add

3 TBS soft Butter
3 TBS Sugar
1/8 tsp Soda
1 tsp Salt
-mix well and cool to lukewarm.

 1 egg
Add and beat well.

1 TBS yeast
1/2 C. warm water.
1 tsp Sugar
Mix yeast and sugar in water and let stand a few minutes.
Combine with the sour cream mixture.

3 C flour.
Mix well and let stand for 5 minutes.

Filling:
2/3 C Brown Sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
-mix together and set aside
2 TBS melted butter

Divide the dough in half,
and roll out about 6-8 inches wide.
Spread melted butter on the top half of the dough
and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Fold the bottom half over the top and
seal around the edges.
Cut into strips and twist them twice.
Place on a greased pan and cover.
Let the twists rise to double.

Bake at 350* for 12-15 min.

*I’m not sure why, but my dough was too sticky
and I ended up adding an extra cup of flour.
Next time I’m considering cutting back
on the amount of water I use since
I found another recipe that only used 1/4 C water.
I also double this recipe because 1 batch just
doesn’t go very far here.

Caramel Frosting
(if you choose)

1 C Butter – melt
2 C Brown Sugar
– add and bring to boil
1/2 C milk
-add and bring to boil again.
Remove from heat and add:
4 C Powdered Sugar
-beat well

Enjoy!

Happenings Here

If you were to hack my computer,
you would find that my latest Google search was,
“Can you eat raw dandelion flowers?”
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I think you all know by now, at this house
it’s not because someone wants to eat them,
it’s because it already happened and the eater there of
was just wondering if she was going to die.
She didn’t think so, but she just wanted me to check.
She had made a dandelion and wild onion soup
and decided to try a few bites.
It was good, so she ate it all.
My apologies in advance to her teacher
for the the way she is going to smell the next few days.

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~~~

In my defense….
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…as I said, in my defense,
when I am drug from a sound sleep at 4am,
I am less the coherent as to what I am rubbing
on my son’s dry skin.
Also in my defense, it was totally dark
and both bottles have a pump.
It did smell a bit funny and was gritty
but hoping to be back in bed within 3 minutes,
I didn’t put too much thought into the why of it all.
Now we know.
We just rinsed him for his next bath.

~~~

Of food…
We have been eating well,
too well.

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Madison is on another baking spree.
We were served apple dumplings one night this week.
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On Friday afternoon she made a made to-do list for Sat.
Her Mother almost fainted.
Not a relaxing Sat in my book.
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I cut the list in half and then in half again
and we ended up with Sour Cream Twists,
Rhubarb Cake,  and edible cookie dough.

I’ll post the twist recipe one of these days.

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She declared Saturday awesome even though
she was a bit looney after washing all the dishes.
The dishwasher you see was full too.

Her Mother is quite glad she bakes.
Yesterday she made another dessert for the freezer
for this weekend.

~~~

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Someone saw his Dad wear sunglasses in the house.
Someone decided this is the cool way to wear them,
inside or out.

~~~

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Hope your week if full of coffee, friends and good food!