Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas is almost here!

In just a few days, Christmas will be here!  We only have two more days of work in 2008 - it's really hard to believe that time has gone that fast.  I am looking forward to spending time with our families and friends.  Life has been busy and when time is at minimum, blogging is usually the first thing to go.  But I do have a few minutes for a short random update right now.

We had fun going Christmas caroling last night with our church.  It has been really cold so it was nice to jump back into a warm car after each house/nursing home that we went to.  Christmas has kinda snuck up on me this year.  It's always a busy time, but this year has been exceptionally so as we've moved, spent 2 weekends in other states, had friends over 5 times and more in just the last 5 weeks!  So our plan today is to go shopping for Christmas presents!  I'm sure we're not the only ones with this plan today and I'm looking forward to hopefully finding gifts for each family member on our list.  Sunday will be busy with Church in the morning where John is playing an arrangement on his violin with 3 flutes and the piano.  Then on Sunday night we have a family Christmas service where many families will be singing songs together.  We're singing with the Lanhams as we've pretty much been 'adopted' into their family here.  John is also accompanying a couple families on the piano.

So that's a bit about our life.  Time passes by so quickly and often I think of many of you who read this blog and wonder what's going on in your lives.   I hope that in this Christmas busyness that you are able to pause and remember our Savior Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fun Snow

Having been in Ohio for a few months now, I've seen more than in my entire 14 years in Alabama - no, make that more than my 28 years in Alabama, Arkansas and Africa! That may be a slight overstatement, but not by much! I'm sure by the end of winter here, it will be genuine fact!
This afternoon as I drove home from work, we had what I'll term fun snow. It just started and has not done too much yet as you can see from the picture. The weather is not too cold (ONLY 28º) so the snow is still melting on one's windshield. The snow is beautiful as is slowly comes down. It's not coming too fast and doesn't interfere with driving. So, to me it is fun to watch as you drive.

I'm home early as we're soon leaving for Illinois. Both Lisa and Anita (John's sisters) are graduating on Saturday so we're using that as an excuse to visit. I'm looking forward to the trip! The snow seems somewhat localized. I think it will stop once we get past Cincinnati. We shall see. . .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Unexpected Guests!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I received a most welcome call from my friend Ivory letting me know that they were driving through this area later that day! What wonderful news! We had before us a lazy Saturday without much planned so we were very glad to hear they would come for the night!

As I did a little cooking that afternoon, John put together our new ping pong table so we could break it in with Chris and Ivory.

The table fit perfectly in our basement and we enjoyed some friendly competition!
"The ball was on his side"
Having guests is a joy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in Ohio

John and I had a great Thanksgiving meal and day with our good friends here in Ohio. The long weekend did not quite turn out as we had initially planned. John's family had planned to come stay with us, but were unable to do so because of sickness (thankfully his parents are doing well now). We definitely missed being with our families this thanksgiving, but were so thankful to share the day with our friends.

"John - another picture?"

Our friend Scott's classic grin :)

Busy cooking (not everything turned out - gravy doesn't work too well if you double the milk!).

It's almost time to eat! Rhonda did an amazing job on all the entire dinner!

We had smoked turkey. It was delicious!
After dinner, we enjoyed playing corn hole outside and then played a couple games inside and watched football. Rather, I napped and pretended to be interested in the game while the guys bemoaned the fact that their team lost :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I thought this video was well worth watching! Each homeschool stereotype was taken to it's extreme :) As a homeschooler myself, I find this to be fun - enjoy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Weekend Guests

From 2008-11-Weekend Guests

Since we are now in a larger apartment, we decided that it was past time for us to invite some people over. So, this past Friday we had a houseful of guests!

We invited a great family with 8 kids over. They were very gracious and played with the few toys we had.

I think they considered our piano to be the very best toy!

Of course John enjoyed taking pictures.

We played the name game which was a big hit!

Overall the evening was a success. We successfully made enough food and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

As the house was already clean, we had some other church friends over for a Sunday lunch of spaghetti.

Dan and Barb have a cute little baby girl whom we all enjoyed holding.

After lunch we had time to talk a while. It was so nice to spend time with our friends in our new apartment!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When the Lows are the Highs

I recently added Deatsville weather to my home page. It was interesting to note this morning that the temperatures here in Ohio and down in Alabama were almost exactly the same at 34º +/- 1º.
The funny thing was that my temperature is only going up by 1º while Alabama will gain more than 20º. Welcome to Ohio!
One thing I haven't yet gotten used to is seeing snow in the forecast as normal. We have gotten snow already here - so far not more than an inch or so, but it has been bad driving weather a couple times.
The day to day cold hasn't gotten to me yet. I guess when one is indoors all the time, the outside temperature (at these highs) doesn't make a huge difference. We'll see how bad it gets in a month or two.
We've been spending our evenings unpacking/arranging and preparing our house for guests. We have friends coming for dinner on Friday and John's family coming for Thanksgiving next week. It's going to be fun to be the one hosting. I tend to think in lists of things that need to be done. Poor John, he got to hear my list of chores for the evening before he was fully awake! But we will work through the necessities tonight. If everything is not perfectly clean, I'm sure we will still have fun.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Moving Pictures

From 2008-11-moving

As I mentioned in my last moving post, we loaded the trailer in the rain.

From 2008-11-moving
This wasn't a drenching Alabama type rain, but just a constant COLD drizzle.

From 2008-11-moving

The guys were cheerful - and thought it funny that I kept taking pictures!

From 2008-11-moving
If you want to take a look at the album (and comment on any particular picture), feel free to click this link.

From 2008-11-moving

From 2008-11-moving
This is Scott's awesome trailer - everything fit and stayed dry!

From 2008-11-moving
Amos was a big help as he quickly carried boxes to the trailer.

From 2008-11-moving

From 2008-11-moving
Nathaniel carried our Christmas tree - can you believe it's almost time for Christmas!

From 2008-11-moving
The men each brought either a trailer or a truck. However, due to the rain, we just used the covered trailer.

From 2008-11-moving

The fun soon begin again as we unloaded.

Our bedrooms are upstairs.

We have a great carport and can fit both of the cars underneath (which has been awesome as it has snowed the last two nights).

Our first (and only) injury.

Moving is easy :) It actually is not hard when you have this much help!

Scot demonstrates his funny face while filling the tires.

Amos tries to make Scott's face!

After all that hard work - the guys enjoyed some much deserved refreshments.

Later, I'll be posting a few pictures of us organizing as well as some "finished" or "current state" pictures.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Moving Weekend!

We are now settled in our new apartment! We moved on Saturday, which was actually one of the worst weather days for moving. It was cold and raining the entire day! But, thankfully we had a lot of people helping us. Scott had a trailer that he uses for snow mobiles which fit all of our furniture and boxes! Scott and Bob (his father-in-law) got to our apartment about 8:30 and begin getting set up. Bob quickly took apart our bed and disconnected the washer and dryer. By the time we were ready to begin packing, two more families arrived. With the boys carrying boxes and the older guys carrying all the furniture, we soon (in less than an hour) had everything loaded in the trailer.

The unloading went very fast - within another hour, everything had been unloaded and located in the correct rooms!

The second stage would soon begin. They guys left and Scott's wife and daughter (Rhonda and Taylin) soon arrived to begin the unpacking and organizing phase. I would never have thought it possible, but in 3 hours the kitchen and living room had been unpacked and after another couple hours, the upstairs was done as well! I thought unpacking would take me at least a week. What a blessing to have their amazing help! We were exhausted by the days end, but were totally settled and comfortable in our new place.

I have a lot of pictures to add to this post, so check back tonight or tomorrow for the picture version! We have a few things to buy tonight - hopefully a shelf for the kitchen and some curtains for the other rooms. Eventualy we'll start hanging pictures and unpacking the last couple random item boxes. We have a little ways to go, but already feel at home here in our new place!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We have the keys!

John was able to pick up the keys to our new aparment yesterday! We actually didn't get to go there yet since we were busy last night. I attended a church ladies meeting and John cooked some Indian food for the first time (it turned out great - though since we finished so late, we'll eat it for supper tonight).

This evening we will be able to start bringing things over to our new place. It's a joy to be this close to moving - of course I'm sure the greater joy will be to have finished moving and unpacking!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Plane is Done!

Last week as I cut up pears for the sauce, John finished the plane!

It was a fun gift - just the thing for an airplane loving engineer :)

John's classic picture!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


My parents have a pear tree. It produces pears that are terribly hard and not fun to eat. After trying them once, I decided that I only liked store-bought pears and never tried them again. My dad enjoys them (or at least eats them in order not to let them waste), but typically no one does much with them. A few weeks ago, Joyce gave me a few pears which I made into a pie that tasted surprisingly good!

After seeing Joyce can pear-pie in a jar last week, she mentioned that I could make the same thing and freeze it as I don't have canning equipment. On Sunday, she had a full bucket of pears for me to take which I took while wondering how a person could eat that much pie.

During church, I thought about making pear sauce. It couldn't be too hard could it? I found some recipe's online and begin that afternoon.

This bucket was full - so I took about 2/3 of a kitty litter bucket of pears - basically I did as many as I felt like doing!

Next, peal and chop them until you're tired.

Place them in your biggest pot and add 1 or 2 cups of water. I added 2 cups, but should have added less as I boiled off a lot of water.
Cover and boil - after they have been boiling for a while, the liquid will rise up to cover the pears which will soon be soft. At this point, I added the rest of the ingredients:

3 T Lemon juice
2 C sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
Boil uncovered for a while longer until the pears are very soft and there is not so much liquid.

When the pears are rather soft and you're tired of watching it boil, turn it off and get out your mixer.

Mix it up to whatever your desired consistency is - I left in a few lumps.

The pearsauce was good! If I were doing it again, I might put in about half as much sugar as it was very sweet. I didn't can it, but I did freeze one container for later and gave one away. Now I know two things that we could have been doing all those years with the pears from that tree!