Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kitchen Update

"And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities."
Genesis 41:35

I was helping Mama put away some of our canned goods today, and decided to give you an update on all the things we've canned!

The most recent item has been the chicken broth.  We boiled 9 of our chickens down and used the broth for chicken noodle soup.  Whatever was left over we canned to have for soups in the future.

I think that we've canned 17 quarts of chicken broth altogether.


We've had a bunch of problems growing onions.  They never get very big.  So, anyways, we pulled all of our onions up (the carrots are next), dried them in the sun and then tied them in bunches and hung them in the laundry room.

This is most of the salsa we've canned this year.

We still have salsa left from last year, so we didn't do as much this year.

Jams and pie cherries! 

My favorite jam is raspberry, so we've canned more of raspberry this year than ever before.  (Others in my family love raspberry too!)

The pie cherries we bought, washed, pitted, and canned for pies! :)

A bigger picture showing you how much jam we have!  Some of these jams are leftover from last year.

Along with raspberry jam, we have peach, cherry, and strawberry.  Apple season hasn't even started yet, so we'll probably end up with some apple butter and applesauce at the end of the year! :)


We have so many greenbeans canned that I couldn't fit them into one picture.

And, a picture of Lydia to end the post!

Delighting in Jesus,

P.S. - On Friday we're going to the Nice's to help them process their 300 chickens. :)

Singing at Covenant Woods

"Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious."
Psalm 66:2

My great grandma has a heart aneurysm.  About 2 weeks ago she wasn't doing very well at all...she ended up in the hospital but was released 3-4 days later.  The next week she had another pain attack on a Sunday morning.  After church we went by to visit her.  I really thought she was going to die that day.  When we came in the room, we gently gave her a hug (she was in bed), and then she started crying.  She reassured us that she didn't have any pain, but that the tears were tears of joy at seeing the ones she loved.  Of course, it made me cry! :)  We left after about an hour or two visiting with her.

That whole week she had relapses of pain and so she was moved into a higher level of care at Covenant Woods (her retirement home).  We visited her about every day and my Aunt Stacey and her daughter, Kaitlyn, drove 3-4 hours to be with her.  We didn't know if this was going to be the week that Jesus would call G.G. home.

But, G.G. still had lots of life left in her and she's now back in her regular room.  She's already attended one of the families birthday parties and is her usual (even thought she gets tired quicker) self! :)

 To give you a little background, G.G. loves to hear us all sing and play instruments.  When we would have her over for dinner that was about all she'd ask...that we'd sing and play the piano, guitar, etc.  She had tried to get us to have a little concert at Covenant Woods before, but we'd never finalized anything.  So, anyways, we were talking to G.G. and then decided to go for a walk to see some finches they had in a cage down the hall.  (My Aunt Megan and her children, Na-naw - G.G.'s daughter, Aunt Stacey and Kaitlyn, plus a few other visitors, were all at Covenant Woods that day.  Cadence, Justus, and Lydia loved the birds!)  G.G. decided to come along and, once by the finches cage, G.G. sat down in a chair and asked if we could sing for everybody.  So we sang a hymn or two and then we went a little further down the hall.  There G.G. asked us to sing again, and so we obliged.  (It was like a little travelling circus! ;)

As we were singing to a few older men and ladies the activity director for Covenant Woods showed up.  When we had finished another few hymns, she asked if we would be available to sing that next week in their multipurpose room! :)  It was very unexpected, but Mama said yes!

So, you would think that we would spend hours practicing, but, with the chicken processing and everything coming up (yes, this post is out of order!) we kept putting practices off.  The next week we were busy boiling, canning, and making soup with 6 or so of our chickens (and with other things), so we didn't practice at all until...2 hours before we left. :-/  Phew...I'm glad I got that out! :-D

Poor Mama typed over 10 hymns for around 2 hours before we practiced, and when the songsheets were finally ready, they started printing out wrong.  So that was frustrating but she soon printed the correct papers!  After *very quickly* skimming through the songs (especially the ones we barely knew ;), we rushed out the door and into the van. 

When we arrived at Covenant Woods we went back with my Grandma and Great-Grandma to the Multi-Purpose room where we would be singing. After some quick trips to the bathroom, we practiced a little bit.  Then people walked or were wheeled into the room.  We had around 15-25 people show up.  When the activity director gave the "all clear" Daddy introduced all of us and then we started singing.

Hannah and Lexi played the piano as people were coming in (and when they left).


As you can see, we all tried to dress in black and white.  Josiah was the only one who didn't really match.

Singing again!
(Thank you, Na-naw for taking the pictures!)

Some of the hymns we sung were:  Amazing Grace, It is Well, In the Garden, Blessed Assurance, Sweet Hour of Prayer, and more!  After singing for about 30 minutes, Mama asked if anyone else had a song they wanted us to sing.  No one answered and then Miss Lindsay (activities director) came up, told us thank you, "that was beautiful",  and then everyone was dismissed.  While people were leaving we went and talked to some of them.  I had two people tell me that they were the only ones of their family left.  It was pretty sad. :(  After everyone was gone we went back to G.G's room and visited for a little while before leaving to get pizza.  After pizza we went back home to drop Mama, Josiah and sick, little Lydia off and then we went to church (after a little relaxation time!).


We, as a family, had never sung before anyone other than family.  It was a new experience for us, and I think we all enjoyed it (except for little, sick Lydia)!  There's nothing quite as special as seeing your Mama playing the piano, as you sing with your sisters, brothers, and Daddy for the glory of God.


On another note, my lovely 18-70mm camera lens decided to stop working properly.  This is the second time this has happened and I'm starting to get frustrated with it.  For some reason it won't zoom correctly.  It gets stuck and doesn't go full range.  I mean it moves, but then it gets stuck half-way and I feel like I'm going to break it if I keep twisting it so hard.  Ahh!!!  The first time it malfunctioned, we sent the lens back to Nikon and they "fixed" it but now it is doing it again.  This lens is also the one I use constantly, so that is another frustrating aspect.  And then I don't know when baby will decide to come, and my main lens isn't working!  I don't know what to do...send it back, pray it'll fix on its' own?  Sending the lens is a forever-long process that I really don't care to go through again.  So, I'm very bemuddled!
  Thank you for reading long enough to listen to my complaint.  (I just had to tell someone! ;)  Any prayers for my sanity would be greatly appreciated! :-D

Okay, I'm just joking.  I'm not that frustrated.  Really. :-/


On one more note, I'm contemplating buying a macro (a.k.a. micro) lens.  A macro lens is just a lens that can magnify a small object.  I want one so I can capture the preciousness of new life (babies!) in a better way.  My other lenses only let me get so close to things before they turn blurry, so I can't accurately portray some of the smallest and most precious things in life.  I love how tiny newborns' feet and hands are, and only macro lenses can capture them the way I'd want to. 

So, all that to say, if any of you have advice on macro lenses, please share it with me!  (Or, if you know of someone who is looking to sell their macro lens, let me know!!!)  The macro lens I'm looking at (105mm) is around $900 from Nikon but on Ebay you can find some for around $400.  I don't have a whole stash of money sitting around, so I don't want to spend rashly and, if this isn't something the Lord wants me to do, I don't want to buy it.  Any of your prayers would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!
Kimber :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kaitlyn's 15th Birthday Party

" are to celebrate..."
Exodus 23:14 (part of)

Sunday, August 1st was my cousin, Kaitlyn's, 15th birthday!  After church that morning, Hannah, Alexis, Caleb and I went with Na-naw and Paw-paw out to eat and then to help get ready for Kaitlyn's birthday dinner! 

Everyone started arriving around 4:30ish, with Kaitlyn and her family arriving first! 

While Paw-paw cooked the hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, most of us sat outside on the deck, swung on the hammock, or, in my case, took pictures of my adorable little cousins and siblings! :)

Isn't Justus one of the cutest boys you've ever seen? :)

Lydia showing off her smile. :)

Justus' eyes are so beautiful - aren't they?

Lydia has recently not been feeling very good.  She's had a fever, runny nose, terrible cough, etc. but today she is doing much better.

The bad part is that Hannah and Caleb now have colds too.

Eden and Gracie

Paw-paw expertly seasoning the hamburgers.

Yummy! :)

Baked beans and Mae-Mae's macaroni and cheese.

After dinner, I was walking around and one of my cousins came up and said "Kimber, you've got to come outside.  Bring your camera."

So, out I went and there figured out that they were going to make a human pyramid and wanted me to take some pictures. 

The first pyramid.

Bottom row: Erika, Hannah, Kaitlyn
Middle row:  Sarah and Allie (and Collin)
Top row:  Alexis :)

Lexi wasn't content to sit still - she had to stand!
(I love Erika's face! :) bottom left)

After that pyramid crumpled we regrouped and this time I got to get in on the pyramid fun! :)

This time we made the pyramid even bigger!

On the grass:  Grace, Eden, Mason, and Cadence
Bottom row:  Myself, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Erika
Second row:  Hannah, Alexis, Allie
Third row:  Collin, Caleb
4th row:  Claire

The expressions on everyone's face is so priceless! :)
(Thanks, Uncle Kevin, for taking pictures for me!:)

Another view with Claire really on the top! :)
This pyramid didn't last long and thankfully no one was hurt in the crash!  Cousins are so much fun! :)

No one had had enough of pyramids yet so we got Uncle Kevin to join in too!

Gearing up.

And Claire didn't quite make it to the top! :)

Uncle Kevin with Cadence and Justus (his children).

Back to the party:

K.K. reading a birthday card.

After presents and cards galore, it was time for cake and ice cream!  The cake was absolutely gigantic - there was about half of it left when the night was over.

Lighting the candles.

All of the grandkids (minus Rachel) singing Happy Birthday.

Lexi showing off her candle skills. Not exactly sword swallowing.
(Thanks to Aunt Mae-Mae for taking this picture and the one above!)

Breath in deep and let your eyes feast on all that ice cream! 

Our family can do some serious damage to ice cream! ;) 


Later that night we left, only to return again the next morning.  Kaitlyn and her family stayed until Tuesday, so Monday was our day to spend time with them.  Mama, Hannah, and I went to Mama's midwife appointment that day too. 

So, I know this is a little late, but Happy Birthday, Kaitlyn!  We love you very much!


And just a random picture for those of you who like peacocks:
Our neighbors' peacocks (and guinea hens) have been visiting our house about every day.  They come right up to the windows, and are some of the prettiest things in the world! :)

Delighting in Jesus,
Kimber :)

P.S. - Yesterday was Daddy and Mama's anniversary!  18 years together and still lookin' good! ;)

Lavender Fields Farm Picnic

"Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God."
Ecclesiastes 2:24

Last Friday we went and had a picnic at Lavender Fields, with our friends the Schermerhorns and Mercers. (A few more friends came along too!) The day was absolutely beautiful and it had rained the night before so the Chickahominy River that runs through their property was perfect for swimming (thank you Jesus!).

Lydia in the river!

Lydia loved playing in the water.  In some places it was pretty deep for her but most of the river she could play in easily.

Hannah welcoming you to this natural paradise. :)

(I took a few scenic pictures but those will be on my photography blog, Lord willing.)

No comment.  :)

Lydia floating along.

Another of Lydia's favorite things to do in the river, was to hold onto your hands while she floated.  The current was fairly strong so she loved floating around. :)

Seth in the river.

Caleb in the river.
(I love his hair - don't you? ;)


Ellen Schermerhorn in the river.
(And, yes, that is Josiah with some sort of plant in his mouth! :)

Isn't this place gorgeous?  I could take lots of pictures here! :)

Heading up the river.

When almost everyone was out of the water, we decided to have lunch!

We had pasta salad, with all sort of veggies, for lunch.

We also had Sun Chips, watermelon, and cookies! :)

Everyone eating lunch.

Lydia drinking some juice.

Josiah eating a chip.

Lydia showing off her smile! :-D

During lunch, Seth floated by in the Schermerhorn's raft.  The current was strong enough for them to take rides up and down the river. :)

When lunch was about over, Lydia said she had to go potty so Hannah and I decided to take her.  We had to go through the woods to get to the Schermerhorn's house but the trail we normally used had a tree laying across it.  So, we took a detour into a muddy swamp area (we could've used an easier way, but we needed the challenge ;) and made it to the house a little bit muddy. :) 

Lydia, Hannah, and I coming back from the house.

Hannah is showing off the watermelon we brought down from the Schermerhorn's garden.

Lexi captured the picture above and the rest of the pictures on this post.  She did such a great job!
Eden, Ellen Schermerhorn, Zachary Holmes, Josiah, and Lydia posing for a picture.


This post was the first installment of many posts.  We've had a busy weekend full of chicken processing, a cousins' birthday party, some more time with the cousins, and Tuesday night we had our insurance agent, and his family, over for dinner.

Delighting in Jesus,
Kimber :)