Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Present From Daddy

Daddy brought this adorable outfit home from Hawaii for his little Clara! Isn't darling on her???!!! As the top picture also captures, Clara has really started taking off with her walking. She's becoming quite the little pro!!!

The Sweetest Thing!

A couple days ago, Clara woke up before Stephen and I had got up, so we grabbed her and let her hang out in bed with us for a few more minutes, before getting up and taking on the day. Before we got up, Stephen asked me to rub his back for a little bit, so I started giving him a massage. Well, little Miss Clara decided to help work on Daddy! She put her two chunky little hands on Daddy's back and started making little, gently push/rubbing movements! It was the sweetest thing!!! I loved it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Princess and the Mud Muffin

Little Miss Mud Muffin shots were taken last night and the little princess shots were this morning!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

For Your Consideration...

Through some friends of ours, we learned about a young couple, Tait & Lauren Zimmerman, and they're precious little gift from God, Little Tait Jr. Little Tait arrived three months ahead of schedule and spent the first three months of his life in NICU. We like to encourage you to visit their website, read about this dear family, and consider if there is something you can do. Thank you!

To visit the site, please click here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More Fun In The Sun

Though, to be quite honest, it was so warm today that the shade was a more pleasant location!

Today, was another outdoorsy Saturday for this family. We spent a couple hours out back doing work. It's so great to work together! While Clara napped, Stephen did a ton of work on trimming a tree and I pulled grass clumps out of the corn rows and watered, and watered, and watered! Watering is a big job! Part way through, Clara woke up from her nap and shortly thereafter, the camera also came out!!! We snapped a bunch of pictures! The next QUITE A FEW post were all taken today!!! Enjoy!!!

Plant shots

Here are some shots of some of the stuff we are TRYING to grow!

Sweet Pea sprouts (as in the flowers, not the food). Not sure yet where I'll plant them. Maybe out front after our land lord has the new shrubs put in. Other flowers I'm trying to grow are: morning glories, moon flowers, violas, johnny jump ups, lilies and gladiolas.

Spinach that we have not yet transplanted

Spinach that we have transplanted

Tomato plant. We did NOT grow this from seed! Cheated and bought a bunch of plants!

Corn sprouts!

Of our first batch of sprouts, the cilantro was the last to sprout. We thought it might never come up! But now it's doing great!!!

When we first started our sprouts, the broccoli were the first to burst eagerly to the surface. And they've continued to do well! Here's a little bunch of them... transplanted and surrounded by cut grass mulch.

Beat sprouts coming up by the "millions"!

Tree Trimmin'

Stephen did a fabulous job trimming this tree!!! There was a lot of little branches going this way and that and some were getting in our way... but my handy husband just took care of it!

Back Yard Fun

The Whole Gardenin' and Tree Trimmin' Family

"ENOUGH pictures!!! Let me down!!!"

What Do You Do When The Carrots Aren't Coming Up?

Why you go looking for them, of course!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mommy Moment

You know something, there's a possible advantage to having a little girl who likes to empty out this and that box and container... besides getting a chance to grow in patience. And that is, you get a better feel for what was in that box or container as you pick it all back up!


Clara is becoming a pretty good little eater these days! Here she is on the night she was chowing down on rice and curried chicken and broccoli. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much broccoli she seemed to consume! Of course, it had cheese and other "good" stuff on it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


One of the joys of living where we do is that we're only about 10 minutes from Stephen's work. So, sometimes we take him lunch and have "daddy time"! It's fun for Clara AND Mommy!!! Here are some pictures from today's lunch time picnic.

Waiting for Daddy....



I have been GREATLY enjoying the beauty of spring around here! The flowering bushes, trees, bulbs, etc. are stunningly gorgeous and the green grass and trees are so lush and refreshing!

Here are a few shots of some tulips that surprised us by coming up in our front yard:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To Whom It May Concern...

Realizing that, although very handy, cell phones are not worth the money we've been shelling out for them and also, being EXTREMELY tired of getting brutally gouged when we run over on our minutes, this family has decided to go "cell phone free"! We'll see if we survive. If we don't, someone please run for congress and enact some legislation to prevent any further tragedies of this nature. :-)

Joking aside, this is just a quick post to let you all know about our new status in life and to say that, if you don't have our land line number you have until the 26th of April to call us on the cell phone and get the land line! Speak now, or forever hold your peace... or you could leave us a comment on this post or drop us an email! Whatever you do, do get in contact, we don't want to lose touch!

Gracie - for the fam

Sittin' In The Front Yard

Food For Thought

I came across this quote today, which I had written down years ago:

"The vice of capitalism is that it stands for the unequal sharing of blessings; whereas the virtue of socialism is that it stands for the equal sharing of misery."

- Winston Churchill

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Q and A

To answer Momma M's question about the yogurt. I have not yet tried adding berries when I make it... but I've thought of trying. If you give it a try, you'll have to let me know how it turns out. I don't know why you couldn't do that.

So far, I've just made the plain, vanilla flavored kind. We all like it quite well that way. I love to throw craisins on there when I eat it... and when I have them on hand I've also enjoyed topping it with pecans or almonds.

Does It Make A Difference?

It is so easy for me to think that praying about something won't really make a difference... but here are some verses that struck me today about the great importance of prayer:

"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word,...."

Colossians 4:2-3 (first part of 3)

"... always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God."

Colossians 4:12 (second half of verse)

Wow. Obviously, prayer is VERY important! I need to remember these verses! Words like "Devote" and "always laboring earnestly" are NOT casual "it-doesn't-really-matter-that-much" kind of words. Those are STRONG words. Prayer does matter - a lot!!!

Somethin' we've been enjoyin'

Something we've been enjoying lately is home made yogurt! It might sound complicated, but really, it's not! It could hardly be easier!!!

While we were headed across the country on our move, we were given this recipe from a friend we stayed with! It's yummy stuff and all three of us like it! When put in small 8 oz jars, it's very handy size for sending to work with Stephen! If your family likes yogurt, you should give it a shot! If a whole gallon at once seems like a lot, just cut it in half. I've done it both ways! We're currently working our way pretty quickly through a WHOLE batch!


One gal. whole milk
2 Tb. gelatin

Heat to 180 degrees

Allow to cool down to lukewarm or cool; then blend the following ingredients together and then add to the milk:

1 cup sugar
1 cup plain or vanilla flavored yogurt (use a good kind with lots of good cultures/bacteria)
2 Tb. vanilla
1 cup dry milk

Preheat oven to 275 degrees

Pour into jars with lids and place in oven

Turn oven off and leave for 4 hours (no more than 8-12 hours)



Too Cute

Daddy stopped by a yard sale the other day and picked out this outfit for his baby girl.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Mini Vacation

We got to enjoy a mini vacation this weekend! Saturday morning we took off to a state park about 2 1/2 hours from here to attend a one day young peoples conference, which was very good. After the conference we spent the night at a large house that some friend of ours had rented in the park. Altogether, there about 14 of us who stayed. We had a great time eating hamburgers and hot dogs, canoeing on the lake and making s-mores. Sunday morning we had a little communion service together and Stephen gave a devotional. We're so blessed to have such great friends!

Clara seemed to have a super time in the great outdoors and being around lots of activity and exploring new places. She wasn't too sure about the canoeing and life jacket, but seemed to enjoy at least the last quarter of the trip!

Before getting home on Sunday, we made a stop at Bass Pro Shop. Again, Clara had a grand time, pointing at things and making happy and excited noises.

Fun times had by all!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tears and a Haircut, Your Done

This is Stephen- G had an appointment today so I worked extra in the week and then took off this afternoon (we call it "flex time".) I took Claire Bear with me as an assistant in training. We titled and registered the Toyota Tercel in the state of Virginia. Then we went to get Daddy a haircut. We pulled up to the barber shop and the two old barbers were each napping in their barber chairs. It was a slow Friday. I set CB down on the ground with a bottle of momma's milk and a newspaper to rip up. The older barber put the cloth around my neck and wrapped me up in the anti-hair protector. He was buzzing away all around my head for 5 minutes and then I looked at Clara. When our eyes made contact, her inexpressive face broke into bitter emotion. It was not a 'I'm hungry' cry or 'I'm too tired to sleep' cry, it was a help-less, terror-struck outpour moving between quick whimpers and heavy, deep, deep sobs. I picked her up thinking that all she needed was to sit on my lap. The barber started the buzzing again. She buried her tearful face into my chest and continued to cry. The barber stopped again. Poor fellow looked like he was 106 years old, but he was very patient.

I got up and walked around with hair falling off me and the two barbers now clucking repeatedly to console the little girl in a milking wet T-shirt that had a million little cut hairs now pasted all over her. She finally settled down. Another customer entered, unaware of the torment that had just stopped the whole store 2 min. earlier. Normal conversation started up. Normal conversation in a barber shop concerns the wrong policies of the government (whether local, federal, or otherwise) and the people that make those wrong policies. My barber finishes up. Clara now adds a sentence to the conversation. I pay. We leave. We return to pick up the milk bottle we forgot and put back the newspaper. We leave again.

My mom might be reading this thinking about the time I cried because the barber whacked off all my hair without notice as a little boy (like when I was 5, I got over it during the military years), but this is different. Claire is almost 11 months. I don't know what was going on in that little head (and I don't know how to put this), but I think I will remember this occasion the next time I think about doing something wreckless.

On another note, I wanted to post a cute pic of my girls.

Now THAT'S a REAL Cup of Tea!

For those of you who don't know, Stephen and I are pretty much tea-oholics! Preferably, black tea with milk and sugar added...British style. Well, lately we've been GREATLY enjoying Barrys Gold Blend, sent to us by my Dad! It's fabulous! We've been drinking it like crazy! The other day I had a friend over and we sat and chatted and drank cup after cup!!! Another favorite of our is Lyons. Both of these brands are Irish. Anyway, all that to say, if there are any of you out there who love a REAL cup of tea, you should check out my Dad's internet company Marmite Pantry!!! He sells some fabulous British food and tea items, including those two excellent brands! Be warned though, these REAL cups of tea will change your perspective forever. You'll never again look at that mediocre cup of tea the same way!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Are You A Farmer?"

That was the question put to Stephen yesterday as he checked out at the feed store with more seeds and plants as well as seed potato and chicken feed!!! Well not exactly, but we sure have been enjoying putting in our garden together and looking forward to the bountiful harvest that we're HOPING to receive!!! It was another gardening Saturday around here as we spent a few hours outside doing a lot more planting. We've got so much planted now!!! Among other things, we've got 2 kinds of peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, herbs, cucumbers, okra, zucchini, potatoes, squash!!! We snapped a bunch of pictures today. Although it may look like the photographer did nothing but snap pictures, trust me, she did also take a turn behind hoe and and rake and get down in the dirt and have fun doing some planting!!!


It's been so fun to watch some of our seeds develop into little sprouts over the last couple weeks!

Sometimes you have to hit the workers over the head to keep 'em in line!

Can't let Daddy do it all by himself!!!!

Supervising Daddy's efforts

The supervisor cracks her whip!

"And you know, who says you have to wait until harvest time to start sampling the wonderful flavors of the great outdoors???!!!"