Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I've been meaning to take my little girl to the beach for the longest time. I figured she would really like it, and right I was! We finally got there today! I know, we are already well into summer and I could have been there long ago... but alas, meaning to do something is simply that... MEANING to do something!

Well, like I said, I actually finally did it today. And wow, a simple trip to the beach is quite the production! And I only have ONE 14 month old!

There's the getting us both ready. And the looking up directions on how to get there and how to get to the store I want to stop at on the way. And there's the collecting of towels and a snack for Clara (which she ended up having when she got home), and a drink for Clara, and cameras and beach toys and GPS. And finally we're off. And then there's the stop at the store and we grab batteries for the camera and sunscreen and sweet tea for Mama (one of my favorites!!!). Then off we go again. Then there's the stop to try to search the GPS for some help, because I'm not totally clear on the directions.

Finally, we get there. Then there is the discovery that while those swim diapers Clara is wearing are designed to not absorb the whole ocean, they also don't absorb and hold much of anything and she is now pretty much soaking wet. So, before making it down to the beach she has a new diaper on and is going to be just using that and her swim shirt, as the diaper covers she was wearing are wet.

Then we try to proceed down to the beach with Mama carrying a bunch of stuff and trying to have Clara walk along. Of course, Clara has no clue what fun is ahead of her and is pretty much distracted by all kinds of things around her, so the walk down is somewhat frustrating. However, thanks in large part to Clara, before we even get down to the beach we have some new friends... a nice lady and her two boys who are also headed down to the beach. We end up setting up near them and chatting. I get to hear the interesting story of there Russian adoption and surprise birth of their own.

Well, now that we made it down to the beach, did Clara ever have a fun time or what!!! The sand, the mud, the rocks, the water!!! She liked it all!!! She spent a very happy 1 1/2 to 2 hours playing about and making even more friends. Enjoy the pictures!!!

The trudge back to the car with Mama carrying stuff and a very wet, dirty girl walking on her own, was NOT fun, but we made it.

After getting home, getting dressed and eating some lunch a tired little girl went to sleep quite quickly for her nap.

What a morning! It was quite the production, but it can be so neat to see your little one having fun! And it was a lovely day and we were blessed with some neat friends! Oh, and the water is nice and warm here!!! And Lord Jesus willing, we'll be doing it again!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The New Addition

No, not another baby. Sorry to those of you who were getting all happy. :-) It's a wheat grinder.

We've been learning / being reminded lately about the health benefits of freshly ground wheat. Yes, store bought whole wheat flour is much better for you then white, as I understand it, because of the fiber and protein in it. However, there are other nutrients in the wheat that start oxidizing as soon as it is ground and you can have lost as much as 90% of those nutrients 72 hours after it's been ground! So wanting to make a good healthy change, and both really liking home made bread as well as wanting to buy more bulk food and be able process it, we decided to grab a grinder.

Also, in a desire to become less dependent on electricity we opted to get a hand crank model. And so, here we are a couple weeks ago, breaking it in.

One of the first things we learned is that grinding wheat using a hand crank model, is really a man job! Thankfully, my man is totally willing. A following discovery was that if you don't really have a heavy table that can hold still under all the pressure it gets, this is really a two person job! So, we've had fun taking turns, one of us sitting on the table and one of us turning the handle. We've even done a little singing along the way. :-)

For those of you who might be interested, we purchased the mill from Breadbeckers.com

Also, the health info. that I mentioned at the beginning is just me sharing from memory some things Stephen and I learned from material by Sue Becker.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


This girl really likes sunglasses, shoes, hats... dressing up!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Quest...

... to use up and preserve lots of cherry tomatoes!!! We have an abundant supply of cherry tomatoes right now, so besides putting them in salad and snacking on them right off the vine I've been trying to use them some other ways as well. A few nights ago I tried to make a spaghetti sauce out of them. I wasn't using a recipe and don't really know how to make fresh tomatoes spaghetti sauces, but thankfully it turned out at least edible. That said though, it wasn't super great. For one thing it was VERY sweet.... so I need to do some research on all that. One of todays projects is to try "sun drying" them in the oven. They are in right now and we'll see how it goes!

Standard Or Express?

That cute little expression is due to the fact that I gave a little scream to get her look up again. :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To The Appalachians We Go!

A few pictures of the trip up to Brookville! For pictures of our actual time IN Brookville, see post below.


So precious!

Along the way we made a stop at Walmart. While waiting for Daddy, Mama had fun making Clara a flower crown!


So, why the long silence?

We've been out of town again, this time for a little longer then our trip over 4th of July weekend. Stephen took some vacation days and we made an excursion up to visit Brookville and attend a family reunion. We had some very enjoyable times as a family, including being able to spend time chatting with Uncle Mark, meeting family members, sitting by the fire and, of course, enjoying some FABULOUS Buff's homemade ice cream. Clara had a blast exploring the big house!!! Even a tumble down the stairs (NO serious injury) didn't do much to dampen her enthusiasm! She also greatly enjoyed playing on the park play equipment at the family reunion, despite a few acidents, which we a couple of which resulted in one cut on her bottom lip and one on her top! That girl!!! What are we going to do with her? With her on-the-go, exploration personality, these little mishaps may end up being a not-so-unusual part of her life. But truly, despite the drama, she had a GRAND time!!!

And one more note. Though we had some very enjoyable and relaxing moments, there was something major missing. Grandpa and Grandma!!! It's not the same without you!

Here are a few snap-shots from along the way....

Walking the dirt road on the property.

An exploration walk on the property. Grandpa T., Stephen forgot his coat, so he's wearing one of yours in this picture!

A little girl in a sea of green.

A Father and Daughter moment.

By the pond.

Clara in her nest of pillows by the fire.

Sorry about the glare... here's a family picture done on timer setting.

Grandpa T... we thought you would like seeing this! Clara LOVED getting a ride on your wood cart!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sportin' Daddy's Hat

These were just too precious not to share... but then, I guess I'm a little biased. :-)

Clara really enjoys trying on hats, Mommy and Daddy's shoes, various things she can drape around herself, etc.

Gotta love that little girl!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Part 5

Ok, more pictures from our fun trip... after our stay in the bed and breakfast we went and took in some civil war sites. I went through a "civil war buff" period as a teenager, so that added some interest to this for me!

The first battlefield we toured was Wilderness, which really took place over a period of a couple days and at several different locations. We toured the Saunders field part. One of the significances of the Wilderness battle is that it was the first time for Grant and Lee to meet in battle, after Grand was put in-charge of Union forces. There was a historian who did a great job giving a walking tour of Saunders field.

Looking toward confederate lines inside the tree line.

Looking toward the direction Union troops came from.

Union forces advanced through this area toward confederate lines up in the trees.

The confederates briefly left the tree line in order to see the union troops who had advanced, but were down in a low spot on the field. The confederates then faked a retreat back into the trees where, unknown to the union forces, they had earth works. Some of those earthworks survive to this day:

Fighting also went on on the other side of the turnpike... still a major road today.

Down around where you see that clump of trees (behind Stephen and Clara), two union canon had been positioned and were being fired towards our position. After causing the union to retreat, the confederates chased the retreating Yankees... until they reached the canon. Two or three different confederate units, chasing different Yankee units, arrived at the cannons at different times. In the end the confederate units got into a fist fight about which unit had got there first and who the canons therefore belonged to!!! The confederates still up at the tree line started cheering for which ever unit they wanted to see win! Meanwhile the union forces were able to reform and make a counter attack!!! We thought that story was sooooo funny!

Gun safety lessons.... :-)

After taking in the wilderness battlefield, we went to see a home called Ellwood. Ellwood is significant for several reasons. One being that it was utilized as a hospital for awhile during the war. Also, for a time, it served as the headquarters of General Warren. Another significance is that "Stonewall" Jackson's arm is buried out in the family cemetery. "Stonewall" was injured by friendly fire during Chancellorsville and, as a result, his arm was amputated. His chaplain brought the arm to Ellwood, home of some of the chaplain's relatives to be buried. "Stonewall" later died due to pneumonia contracted during recovery from his injuries. As a side note, if you would like to learn about a great man... look into the life of "Stonewall" Jackson. I would recommend both the movie "Gods and Generals" and the book "Beloved Bride: The Letters of Stonewall Jackson To His Wife".

Family pictures we took on the grounds:


Room arranged similarly to how it would have looked when it was General Warren's headquarters.

On our way back...

And before moving on... we had a pit stop to make. Clara didn't think this was too cool.