Sunday, December 4, 2016

At a Small Southern Church for Hanbell Performance


I'm working this weekend, and it's a busy time of year with my special friends -- the ladies I oversee.
-- Open House
-- Handbell Performances

We're at an old-timey kinda church...where folks have been here since the late 1940's.


This is a glared photo of the old church.
It's been gone a long time -- well...the sanctuary is "no longer"; however, part of the building is still being used.
The sanctuary is new...from the 1970's or  80's.

I spoke with the Sunday School Director.
She's been here since the time when folks met in a TENT.
Talk about a devoted congregant!!
I asked, "Did you get married in this church?"
Yup - in 1953
Lovely lady!


There is a balcony in the "new sanctuary". I'm not sure folks ever sit up there...except maybe for a really special occasion....Easter, Christmas.
Not sure.


I watched a lady open this glass wall case and "put up" the new info.
She's been here 57 years.

These are the simple things that make life so interesting to me!!!

The fact that these precious folks have legacies of faith...well....it just is incredibly inspiring to me.

Kinda like my own mother's life - being in the same church for quite a while, serving others, being faithful and supportive.

These are the types of people who have always lived lives bigger than their own -
Diligent to do what their hands find to do.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Tis the Season



My grandmother's Christmas ornaments 
Nanny Carols mom -- Vida Etta
These decorations are sooo special.


Visiting Mr. Winston in rehab - for knee surgery
Mary made the silly- handmade Christmas hat he is wearing.
That's Cookie - his wifey.
She didn't marry until was 40.
Hope springs eternal!! (totally kidding)


Re-Voting in a local election run-off 
Gotta do it. Gotta vote.
Gotta be responsible.
The polling site is at a church...thus the cross.


Mary eating a fried egg and cheese sandwich- on Ezekiel bread with Veganaise as the condiment of choice

She's watching a video.


Emily practicing piano


Molly doing the same
They look like twins, huh?!


Mary's end of the year GA program - Girl's Auxiliary/Missions



Missing that top front tooth

Monday, November 28, 2016

I Live the Life of MacGyver

Honestly -
I think it's critical to be a good problem solver, 
AND
I think problem solving comes in a variety of packages.
- Getting someone's "take" on a situation 
- Finding novel ideas
- Soliciting practical solutions 
- Googling info
- Conferencing with an expert
- Getting advice from wiser folks
- Using the creative knowledge that you already possess

I love being surprised by other's perspectives -- when I'd not even thought about what they are saying.

Then
There are times in my life
When I am solely responsible 
For figuring out HOW to get the garage door to stay down 
When it has no inclination 
To do so

At night
When it's raining - severe storm warnings 
Tornado watch kinda evening.

I figured it was a garage door sensor issue.
I did Google the problem and found 10 possible solutions.
Lovely.

Ok.
Both left and right sensors needed to be lined up
No debris - Check!
No obstructions on the "eyes" - Check!

I had to have a flashlight to see well enough and get down low to ensure both sensors were level.

Google said use a leveler.
Ain't got one.
Don't want one.

SO - I used a ruler to measure the height levels of both sensors.
Hmmmm.
Not very workable.

Tried to set a small glass bottle (with water inside) to see if I could improvise a leveler contraption.

Too narrow of a surface for any tiny glass bottles to sit on.

AHHHHH....
I thought 
A. Round. Marble.
Circa 1965 - from my brothers' collection (one or both brothers)

If it sat a marble on one sensor without it rolling off
THEN
I could check the other sensor to obtain like result.

It did indeed sit atop the right sensor.
When placed on the left one, it rolled backwards.
I adjusted sensor and tried again.
Rolled backwards again.
Repeated the process.
Placed marble on top...
And it sat there.

Bingo.
Level.

I proceeded to put the garage door down, and it stayed down.
Fixed.
Cha-Ching.

I strutted inside and told Em and Molly that I might be THE smartest person in our entire town (said in much jest and sarcasm).
I told Molly to let me lay my hands on her head to impart this divine MacGyver-like capability of problem solving.

She laughed and rolled her eyes.
She wasn't buying it.

As I turned toward Emily, she was heaving for breath, laughing and remarked..."From YOU, Mom?! You put your pajamas on backwards. Uhm. Yeah. Right."

If they only knew.
If they only knew.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Great Time During Thanksgiving Holidays


Back in the day
Oh...2008
When I was in China for the first time to bring Sweet Emily home,
There was an American dad sitting at the table
Having breakfast 
With several little Chinese girls.
No mom in sight

He was an anomaly- for sure.
Folks maybe had adopted once from China
But it was kinda rare hearing of a family 
Who'd adopted 2 or 3 times.

Maybe not rare
But not the norm

Anyhoo
This daddy was very personable.
Turns out his wife was likely taking a shower and going to join the family shortly.

When someone asked him if all the kiddos were his, he jokingly replied, "Well...I'm not running a Chinese baby sitting service!"

Seeing this photo of my 3 girls 
Somehow reminded me of his comment.

We do get "stared at" a good bit.
We did this day
In another city
In another state
On Thanksgiving Day.

Warm smiles.
Pleasant glances

We just smile back.

Aren't they darling little girls?
I'm so blessed to have them in my life.

Traveling About for Thanksgiving Visits



We love Tow-Mater from the movie Cars.
The girls want Cars 2.
Guess I'll be on the lookout for that.



I'll pull off the road for ANY-thing that looks fun or interesting.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving

"O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good.
His mercy endureth forever"
(1 Chronicles 16:34) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Early Thanksgiving Celebration - Our Artist Friends Were There, Too




These guys are talented!

Leftie - Sam...He's the visual artist...drawing, sculptures, pottery.
These are his drawings posted here.
Phenomenal, huh?

Brother on the Right - Matt...musician
Kind fellas.
Kid-friendly-type-guys.




Mary drew for Sam, but these Thanksgiving sketchings were drawn before we arrived at the luncheon.
They were merely drawn in the throw away paper table covering.

Incredible!


Practice Makes Progress, Miss Mary.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Woke Up to Pumpkin Lattes (organic)



Prepared by Emily and Molly
As an Autumn surprise
All ingredients - organic
-puréed pumkin
-pumpkin pie spices
-Fair Trade coffee
-vanilla extract
-syrup
-coconut milk
-coconut whipped topping


This morning I was served Coconut Flour Biscuits - on a vintage plate...my great grandmother's pattern.
Delish and Special!

 
They're working with baking powder, various healthy flours, apple cider vinegar - learning the science behind reactions in the ingredients.

Enjoying sister time together and sharing their talents

I'm thrilled to see their creativity and initiative - searching out healthy recipes.
Most are from Dr. Axe's website.


Mary is enjoying her time at home watching her $2.00 Goodwill DVD -- Space Buddies.


"Normal day
Let me be aware
Of the treasure 
You are.

Let me learn from you,
Love you,
Savor you,
Bless you before you depart.

Let me not pass you by
In quest of some rare
And perfect
Tomorrow."

(M.J. Irion)

Monday, November 21, 2016

"I Love You a Bushel and a Peck!"

"I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck...." (Doris Day song)


We went out to our yearly Thanksgiving Celebration to a little church in the country.

I was working, and my special friends (ladies I look after on the weekends) had a handbell performance there - as they do each weekend before Thanksgiving.

I try to work this weekend every year so I can go back and see my sweet country church friends...and be blessed by the sweet holiday bell performance!

They play songs like, "We Gather Together" - one of my childhood favorites.

The girls picked pecans outside, and Emily and Molly said, "Mom - we almost have a peck of pecans!"

They learned this unit of measurement in their homeschooling math classes.
Bushel, too.
Old fashioned terms, huh?
Peck = 8 quarts
Trust me...their course work is rigorous!
But I've commented often to the girls, 
"I don't recall ever learning about these 2 units of measurement."


They DID gather 8 quart bags of pecans - yesterday on that crisp, gorgeous Autumn day in the middle of small, small town America.
The folks there are getting on up in years to gather pecans from these monumental trees that are no telling how old.

The nuts were rich and tasty.



They had a wonderful time outside - waiting for the church service to begin. 
We had to be there early to get ready for bell performance.
Nanny Carol was inside on a good ole fashioned pew - keeping her feet warm.


This is the end of Mrs. Jenny's chicken and dumplings - her mother's recipe from 1950 something (or earlier...).
She brings a batch each year for the meal we all share together after the church service.
She uses the same old washtub-converted-to-serving vessel that her mother used.
Mrs. Jenny said she made it at 3:30 that morning - when she got up to read her Bible and have quiet time.


Isn't she lovely?
Our precious friend - Mrs. Jenny
I've only seen her at this yearly gathering.

I'm making arrangements, though, to take all my girls - and mom - out to her house so we can "fix" a batch of the famous dish together.
We'll provide all ingredients and side entertainment.
Oh, won't we have fun?

It's days like these that I feel like George Bailey in It'a a Wonderful Life".

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Tub Time for Two Pups



Bathing Chase


Bathing Peanut

They look like twins!

It's Cornbread Dressing Time


I am working this weekend.
The girls and I are using the kitchen here...assembling our famous cornbread dressing - with sautéed onions, green onions, and celery, shredded chicken, herbed seasoned breadcrumbs, chicken broth, rice, poultry seasoning, sage....

The Three-Some Team makes it all very do-able.

This batch will be divvy-ed out between a few single, male family members who actually do like this dressing. We're delivering their "helping" next week - in another state.

The rest will be frozen for Christmas dinner.

A lotta LOVE goes into this dish -- family memories and yearly traditions.
Together time
Family 
Faith


Our backyard on a beautiful Autumn morning 
I took this photo before heading to work at 6:45 a.m.
It's a time of year when beauty and appreciation go hand in hand.
Gotta seize the day!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Lottie Moon Tea Party with Southern Tea Cakes


Lottie Moon was a missionary to China - in the 1800's. She baked cookies to win the friendship of the Chinese people. She embraced their culture 100% - customs, language, dress...everything to win them to the Lord.


Mary's GA group had a tea party honoring her....and to reinforce the importance of being a missionary wherever you are.



Mary will gather money in her rice bowl bank.
How appropriate!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016



At Prayer Rally On Election Eve


Mary's Super Moon Art Work


The Girls Eating Out - After Cultural School


Get Well Card for Mr. Winston - drawn by big and little at our house


Song from Cultural School - I merely pretended to understand.