Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sweet Things in May

May is such a sweet month with all the flowers and birds and sunshine (or rain, if you're us). We also had some notable desserts in May.

First up was the Mother's Day delightful banana pudding. My son checked out a Good Eats cookbook (by Alton Brown) at the library. I told both him and his brother that they could pick out something to make from it. The eldest wanted to make banana pudding (the hot kind) for Mother's Day. This dish even had homemade vanilla wafers made with homemade vanilla sugar. It was yummy with a mountain of meringue.

My son's first (and perfect) meringue 

Other than the tornado warning, it was a delightful Mother's Day!

And what could be sweeter than a daughter's birthday? I suppose it was a daughter helping make her birthday cake. My oldest daughter wanted a sand castle birthday cake. She wanted it to have graham cracker crumb sand. The idea for this came from a Food Network show (Kids Baking Championship, I think). 

So we made a sand castle cake. This was an easy peasy one.

Sea stars

I made these stars by putting a little sugar on the counter and using a rolling pin to flatten some gummy candies. Then I cut out a star shape with a knife. It wasn't hard at all.

We used two circle cakes on top of a sheet cake. The sheet cake was frosted blue, and the layer cake was frosted in white. We then covered the blue with paper towels and went crazy with making a graham cracker crumb mess. I carefully removed the paper towels covered in crumbs, and the blue frosting was still sans crumbs.

Real seashells and making "waves"

Stars from the top

The flag was just a paper glued to a paper straw I had on hand
The birthday girl was very happy with her self-designed cake, and I was very happy to have had lots of help. Plus, it was an easy cake that needed no special equipment at all.

Coming soon: The June birthday cake (Don't miss this one! It has a tragic story.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Kids These Days

Last year we bought a digital camera at a flea market for $5. It was to be for the kids to take pictures, and take pictures they do!

Some pictures need explanation. Some do not, but I'll explain them anyway.

This is the curb outside the local elementary school. In the top of the picture you can see some feet. Some of those feet belong to some of my children who won the American Legion Auxiliary's Americanism essay contest. We were invited to the school for the presentation of the awards. I called it a field trip because the kids were able to see what a school is like.

I guess this next one is somebody's head or the ceiling.

A bird in the gravel outside our back door (before the patio was poured). Can you see it?

A Thanksgiving turkey that still hangs on our bedroom door.

Maybe they took this one because they want to travel here or maybe because a certain state has a capital with a similar name to a certain daughter? I just don't know.

I'm fairly certain this picture was taken to show the whole world how I let my clean laundry sit in baskets to get nice and wrinkly.

This picture was supposed to be irises ready to bloom, but the bricks are in focus instead.

The overwhelming majority of kid pictures are Lego creations. This one is/was (not sure if it still exists) a creative model of a city, complete with airplay runway and all sorts of cool details.

And this last picture was taken by my daughter. It is showcased at her new blog, A Nature Girl's World. If you want an explanation of this picture, you should click on over and read about it.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Five on Friday

1. First Egg. We didn't think we'd get any eggs this year since April 15 came and went (that's been when the guineas started laying in years past). But on Tuesday my son found the first egg.

First guinea egg 2018

Since then we've only found 3 eggs, so I still think the hens are slowing down. I still love watching those crazy birds making their rounds about the yard.

2.  Boys' Room.  I asked the boys if I could show pictures of their new bedroom in the addition. They agreed.

Calvin made it in this shot, too.

The green walls and brown carpet make me think of mint-chocolate chip ice cream every time I walk into their room. The room is quite cozy.

3.  Walk Across Maryland.  I've been spending some time this last week organizing an event for homeschoolers to walk across Maryland in Hancock where the distance is only 1.8 miles. If you happen to be a local homeschooler and are interested in taking part, send me a note.

4.  May Listing Challenge.  My oldest son challenged me to list one new item on Etsy for each day of the month of May. Since I am busy with other crafting/mending projects, it looks like all new items will be either craft supply or vintage. So far this month, I've met the challenge.

My favorite I've listed so far this month is this vintage postcard.

Saucy little postcard!

5. More Construction.  I know I posted just on Sunday about the completion of the project, but look what showed up in our backyard this week.

Yesterday the masons showed up to prepare the site for a new concrete pad for the back patio. This morning the concrete truck came and delivered. The masons are now waiting for it to set up to put on the finishing touches. I'm not sure how the rain clouds coming in will help.

Have a lovely weekend.

Sunday, April 29, 2018


Way back in December, I was wanting so badly to post pictures of the completed addition to the parsonage and the new and beautiful wood floors, but we decided to wait until we had an open house for all the congregation to see it in person first.

Well, today was the open house, so now I must post pictures.

To tease you a little more, first I'll show you pictures of our improved front flower bed. We worked to get this in shape to welcome people for the open house. The kids worked with us planting some new flowers, moving rocks away, spreading mulch, and then moving the rock edging back in place. I should also point out the lovely rustic trellis my husband made last week to replace the older and decaying one; I think our clematis is loving it as much I am.

Ignore the messy porch in back. We fixed that up, too.

Creative circles of rocks

And now, since you've been waiting for months and driven to distraction most of your days just wondering how our building project turned out on the inside. . .


This picture of the hallway was taken way back in December. The following pictures I took today after our guests had left and after we'd (mostly) cleared the table.

Our dining room

The school room (from the dining room)

And, finally, part of the addition-- the playroom/sewing room/sitting area. It's a big space!

Did you notice Calvin found his way into most of these pictures?

I realize I've left large parts out of this mini-tour. I don't have a picture of our television/living area because the kids were all lounging around there when I had the camera out. Also, I decided to ask the boys for permission before posting pictures of their new bedroom online. But at least you have an idea now and can finally sleep well tonight.

Thank goodness, right? 😉

We truly love this space. We are still figuring out how to use and decorate some of the space (and you know decorating is NOT my strong suit), but it has been a joy to see the beautiful floors each day, to enjoy the sunlight streaming into the living area, and to be able to spread out a lot more.

I feel so blessed that our congregation takes such good care of us. Thank you.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fun Finds

We've had need of furniture since we have new rooms in the addition, so my husband and I have been taking turns shopping at the local Friday night auction frequently this year. I love the auction!

In addition to furniture, I've picked up a few lots with other things that I wanted-- some books, souvenir spoons, and cool stuff I thought I might be able to sell on Etsy. I've really enjoyed picking up items I want to sell because I can enjoy having and looking at the "stuff" without having it clutter up the house forever (as long as I'm able to sell it, that is).

Some of the finds I really liked most were the cards I picked up.

This joker cracks me up.

If anybody out there is a Hagerstown native, do you know anything about Ringer Electric Service or where the building featured on these cards is located?

Old "Remembrance" cards from Hagerstown

I think my favorite find was tucked in a box of souvenir spoons-- original cards for the game of Clue. I love the characters, and my son noticed something interesting about the revolver card. Can you see it, too?
It was Miss Scarlett with the revolver in the ballroom!

That's right. The "revolver" pictured isn't a revolver at all. Also, the versions of Clue I've always played showed the knife as a lethal looking dagger, but this version shows a regular (dull) table knife.  (If you're interested in seeing it, the picture is on my Etsy shop OR you could just google it.)

That's the kind of thing that gets me excited about my auction finds; I just have to be careful not to buy everything I'm curious about!


Monday, April 2, 2018


To be completely honest, while the following overheard snippets were actually heard by me (out of the mouths of my loved ones), I can't remember when. Yesterday I noticed them in a draft I had never finished.

I do hope you enjoy.

My husband noticed our son "taking care" of his baby sister and remarked incredulously:  "He wiped her hands with an English muffin!"

When asked if he wanted a balloon at the dentist's office, our dear boy said, "Hmm. I'm not sure. A balloon is a lot of personal responsibility that I'm not sure I want."

I only wish I could remember ALL of the crazy things that are done and said around here!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dear Spring

Dear Spring,

     I am sorry you have been delayed. I was so looking forward to greeting you today when you arrived. I hope you have not met with any misfortune.

     At the same time, if your tardiness is on purpose, I must point out to you that this is a serious breach of contract. The calendar clearly states that today is the first day of spring. You have an obligation. I do not mind that you visited already for a few days in January and in February; I have had my hopes set on your arrival for your three-month sojourn for so long. I have anticipated and prepared. Do not let me down!

     Of course, perhaps you have been put off in recent years by my blossoming friendship with autumn. Let me reassure you that nobody will ever replace you in my heart.

     Please come soon!

                                                                                   With warmest wishes,