It's supposed to be a rainy day here in South Carolina. I had planned to drive back to Virginia this morning from my sister's house...but then decided I'd rather drive six hours in the sun tomorrow rather than in the rain today.
I've been here since last Wednesday when I packed up and decided I needed to check on Granny. The couple of phone calls from her early last week made me think she needed perking up and checking on!
So the road to Brushy Creek to see Granny has been my route each day. Conveniently located ten minutes from my sister's house, the grounds of the rehab facility are very nicely landscaped, and I enjoyed seeing all the workers adding mulch to the trees and shrubs around the place...made me long for spring and working in my yard! It was almost 70 degrees here in SC yesterday!Brushy Creek is composed of 12 identical "cottages" with 12 residents in each cottage, and Granny has been here in the Magnolia Cottage for almost two weeks after being released from the hospital with compression fractures in her back: Here's Granny, smiling even through the back pain she's enduring each day: You can see her ever-present back brace a little better in the photo below. It is a huge contraption she says that is a real pain to put on and take off....but it does help to cinch her back tightly and is doing a good job of bracing her for some relief: The physical therapist and occupational therapist come in each morning and afternoon for walking, exercising, and increasing her strength. She's improving a little more each day.
Here's Granny in the exercise room doing upper body strengthening with the occupational therapist:She will be here at this facility at least another week if not longer, and then her case will be discussed and determined what happens next.
Thanks, as always, for your prayers for her that she will continue to recuperate and to be extra cautious and not fall again!
Of course, my sister and I can't stay with Granny every minute, so when she's resting and if my sister doesn't have a class to teach...off we go on an antiquing adventure. This was a new place for me:This was my only purchase...an antique butter knife for $1.50: I always enjoy being here at my sister's house. She's close to everything, and Hobby Lobby is two minutes away at the end of her street! Amazing!
Here's a picture taken from her foyer looking into a portion of the living room...taken mainly so Hannah can see where the scripture plaque was placed that she painted for Aunt Bet for Christmas. I love the green plaque and brown walls!Also when I'm visiting, if my sister is at school, I'm on dog duty with little Barney...who delights in hiding under tables and under beds so I can't take him out: On the kitchen front...I have two new recipes to try when I get back home! My sister made Cheeseburger Soup for us (I don't normally change recipes, but I think I'd add some cayenne pepper and substitute Pepper Jack cheese for some spiciness) and also Baked Asian Style Honey Chicken while I've been here. Yummy!
Well, that's a bit of an update. I'm headed over to Brushy Creek in just a few minutes, so I'd better get a move on!
As Mom mentioned in her last post, Sarah and I accompanied Jonathan for a whirlwind trip up north to visit Bethany and her family.
"The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps."
The reminder in this verse applied in more instances than one, from the deliberating over house details they did, to the change of activities we had planned, to the shortened duration of our time at their house due to wintery weather throughout the north-east and the need to travel home sooner than expected to bypass it.
In spite of the quick trip this time, we all had an enjoyable visit. We went bowling, so we 3 Americans tried our hand at 5-pin bowling, with mixed reviews on how we liked the smaller ball.
No, we're not competitive! And Libby is the cutest photo-bomb. ;)
Sarah took a turn holding baby Berea, who is going to be a big sister come this fall!
We meandered our way through a Chinese supermarket in Ottawa and browsed the interesting ethnic selections. The store was gearing up for Chinese New Year celebrations and displayed plenty of colorful signs and decorations....along with some not-so-appetizing delicacies.
Have you heard of the durian? It is a tropical fruit with a distinctive odor and flavor - and spiky appearance.
Although we left the durian at the store, we later sampled a variety of unique Asian fruits, courtesy of Caleb, including the sugar apple, dragonfruit, rambutan, and donut peach. The dragonfruit was my favorite and tasted similar to kiwi.
While I don't have any photos of this part of the evening, we later headed to an indoor laser tag center and played several invigorating rounds, a first for us 3! Our fun group, once again, was very...competitive with our triggers.
The laser tag tickets included games with which we amused ourselves while we waited our turn to enter. Jonathan and Bethany played air hockey, the next best thing to the real sport.
Racing against each other!
Mr. Yuck had plenty of backseat drivers, but he was calm and collected as usual.
It was all too soon that we headed back home to VA; we were thankful for the prayers on our behalf as we traveled through some snowy stretches of highway.
All three kids were away this past weekend traveling up to Canada again to visit a certain young lady and her family.
Tom and I were left with an extremely quiet and empty house! I'm not sure I'm fond of these empty nests that I've heard so much about!
Thankfully, it was only for three days, so we decided to make the best of it and plan some adventures of our own!
To start the weekend off, on Friday I traveled to Richmond to meet my friend, Chris, for lunch and some shopping. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of us together because I didn't take any! Sad.
The time together was a real blessing because it helped take my mind off the kids' long 11-hour drive, although I was still praying for their safety throughout the day.
On Saturday Tom and I packed our suitcases and headed off to Greensboro, NC, for a weekend get-away of our own.
Here's one of the places we ended up doing some fun antiquing:
I wasn't on the lookout for anything special, but this red and gold quilt caught my eye immediately:The asking price was higher than I was willing to pay, so I inquired if the vendor could be contacted to see if she would be open to a lower price.
It always pays to ask! Not only was the vendor willing, but she lowered the price by $30! I'm happy to say that the quilt now resides at the Mountain Musings homestead and is waiting to be cleaned and displayed.
Here's an antique tablecloth that I really would have liked to purchase, especially for decorating for our Valentine's weekend guests. Again, the price was higher than I wanted to pay, so this beauty stayed at the store:And because Granny is a basket-maker, I'm always checking out the antique baskets in shops like this. Here's an egg basket we saw priced at $95! It was very well-made, sturdy, and...expensive!
I'm sure Granny's baskets will one day be treasured antiques like this one.Speaking of Granny....most of you blog readers may not know that almost two weeks ago she fell at my sister's house and has compression fractures in her back...again! She was in the hospital in South Carolina for a week and is now in rehab trying to get stronger after this latest setback.
I'm sure she's missing making her baskets! And I'm sure she'd appreciate your prayers for a quick recovery!
On Sunday, Tom and I visited a local church in the Greensboro area and enjoyed meeting and getting to know some new folks. We always enjoy finding other like-minded fellowships and making new contacts.
Soon we were on our way back to Virginia to...a quiet and empty house, but very thankful that we were able to spend some time alone together!
Hannah, Jonathan, and Sarah are now back home this week after traveling through much of that winter storm up north. I think after that hazardous journey they've had their quota of snow for awhile, even Sarah!
And now we're getting back to normal again with lots of activity all around! Just the way I like it! :)
Here in Virginia, we only received a small piece of the Blizzard the northeast is receiving this week, but we did have a snowy-stay-inside-day today...much to Sarah's delight!
This was a perfect day for a Girls' Day In! We'll each tell you what we worked on:
Sarah's Snow Day Quilting:This winter I have been determined to work as much as I can on the hand quilting on my double wedding ring quilt. It's ridiculous how many years it's been since I started, and it's not even halfway done yet! Over the past few weeks, it's been really nice to get back into it, even though my fingers have been a bit sore while my calluses build back up again.
And snowy days are the perfect time to stay cozy underneath a quilt inside a warm house!
Hannah's Snow Day Project:I brought out my sewing machine for the first time this winter, and after cleaning and oiling it, I began working where I left off (many months ago) on my picnic quilt. The blocks are made with old denim squares and pieces of various red/white/and blue fabrics. Getting closer to sewing the blocks into rows!
Deb's Snow Day Row-Along:
It's been quite awhile since I posted about the Row-Along I started working on last January! But what a great day to set up our machines and get busy.
I've now completed the mitten row: Here I am joining the next row of twinkly stars together:
And here's the star row added to the group:Tomorrow I'll be working on the neighborhood houses row...should be fun!
And speaking of snowy day projects...here's a new quilt kit that I'll be making for Sarah when I finish the Row-Along or if I want to take a break this week and start something different. Doesn't it suit her perfectly? The pattern is called Snowtime.
I'll post pictures when I make some headway on it!So what did you work on today? Any sewing? Shoveling snow? Baking bread?
"Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever."
~ II Samuel 7:29
Earlier in the week I showed you just a few of the scriptures that we wrote on the main floor of Jonathan's house that he's building. Today I'll show you the scriptures we wrote on the upstairs hallways and rooms.
Of course, here comes the tricky part...I had to climb a very steep ladder to get up there to write! I had never climbed that ladder during any of this construction progress, so I had no clue what the upstairs looked like.
Well...Saturday was the day to be courageous! I had a goal--I had to write those verses for Jonathan! So up I went...ackk!
And I now have a suggestion for ladder makers...please make rungs closer together for old ladies who climb ladders! Made it to the top! Whew!
I began writing in the nursery with a verse found in 1st Corinthians, and it's the same verse a friend cross-stitched on a diaper bag for my nursery long ago...perfect, don't you think?:And another one for the nursery:While I was writing, everyone else was working. Here are Tom and Hannah nailing top plates upstairs: And Jonathan working downstairs:Here I am writing verses for the children's bedrooms: Upstairs hallway: I was looking forward to writing verses in the master bedroom, and I started with these two at the doorway leading into the suite:And a verse for wives just opposite the door frame above:I Corinthians 13: 4 - 7 ..."love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
This verse above is written on a master bedroom post below...great verses for husbands and wives about love:Hannah took on the big task of writing verses 10 - 31 of Proverbs 31 inside Bethany's master bedroom walk-in closet. How appropriate! Here are a couple of examples: And another: And the last two verses in that Proverb: There are so many more verses that are wonderful in the guest room, bathrooms, and master bedroom, but if I included them all this post would go on forever!
So I will end with I Peter 2:9 written over a doorway upstairs which says:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
Okay...time to close my eyes and head backwards down that ladder. My work upstairs is finished until real steps are built!
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
On Saturday our family spent the day over at Jonathan's house helping him work on the next step in the long process...which was installing top plates.
Since it's been awhile since I showed pictures of the progress, I thought Saturday would be a good day to take my camera with me and take some photos. Here are Tom and Jonathan getting all set up for work: Jonathan and Hannah took a moment out for a smile for the camera before getting started. It was quite chilly, and we were all bundled up for the long hours we'd be there: The girls have both been helping whenever and wherever needed. They have become quite adept at house-building and helping their brother! I helped by putting as much pressure as I could on the board Tom was chiseling so it wouldn't slide. Doesn't it look like I'm doing a great job? Ha!But that wasn't the main reason I was there on this particular Saturday. Jonathan had put me in charge of writing scriptures on the studs and framework all through the house before the drywall goes up...so his house would be completely bathed in scriptures in every room...like this one in the kitchen:
"Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them." ~ Jeremiah 29:5
I had my trusty clipboard ready along with 19 pages of scriptures I had selected and designated for various rooms of his future home: One verse I selected was II Chronicles 7:16, which is a scripture my sister calligraphed for our wall many years ago and one which I like a lot:
"For now have I chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually."
Here I'm writing this verse above the front door: I ran out of room to write the complete verse like I wanted, but here's what it looked like when I finished:Hannah took a turn and wrote over one of the dining room windows using scripture from Psalm 128:
"Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord."
Here she's all finished writing her selection, and you can also see verses I've already written on both the left and right of the windows: Since Sarah is our bookworm, she wanted to pick a verse designated for the library and selected 2 Timothy 2:15..."Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."And this verse in Joshua greets folks coming in the back door:I forgot to take a photo in the laundry room, but there's the perfect verse for that area:
"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." ~ Psalm 51:7
The rest of the gang continued working while I kept going from room to room writing verses in the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, library, dining room, and living room. I was having a great time!Since I haven't posted a picture of the front of the house, here's one we took before leaving for the day showing the front porch with the windows and door installed. The design is a country farmhouse look: And another view of the side of the house that shows the front porch again. And, yes, that's pure mud! all around the house. It's quite a balancing job for me to keep upright on those boards leading around to the back door: Next post, Part 2: I'll climb the ladder (no steps yet) and head upstairs to show you the verses written in the nursery, master bedroom and bath, guest room, and kids' room. Stay tuned later this week!
"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." ~ Psalm 127:1
First, I used my trusty tablet...yes! I'm twins with Granny! We both have new tablets! We're two old dogs trying to learn new tricks!
I pulled up the recipe right at my kitchen counter: And then I assembled the rest of my ingredients. The oregano and basil are dried spices from our summer garden, and...the tomato can is turned that way because I opened it before I remembered to take the picture. :)
In the future, I'll for sure use fresh basil instead of the dried, because I think the taste will be so much better and basil-ly: And then, in no time at all, the soup was ready for our lunch, and I have to say that it was quite tasty! Hannah baked bread yesterday, and this was a perfect meal to pair with her Artisan Bread. I'll let her tell you all about that recipe!
This is the recipe I used for the Artisan Bread: No-Knead Bread. One commenter asked a question last week about our normal bread recipe. Usually I make Sue Gregg's whole wheat bread recipe found here, with a few adjustments, but now and then I'll try a new recipe such as the above bread. It had a crusty outside and chewy inside with great flavor. Below are the slider buns I made with my regular bread recipe:
Let me know if you try either of these bread recipes!
So...here we are enjoying some delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup and the original chicken sandwich for Sarah:Hannah didn't have a freebie from Chic-fil-A, so we swung by Panera Bread to redeem a gift card she'd received.
Later we stopped by our third restaurant of the day--Cracker Barrel...no, not for another lunch...but Hannah wanted to visit the gift shop. Don't you love all those rockers on their front porch? Here's a pretty scarf that Hannah liked: And here are their spring garden items on display already...I have to say as much as I love gardening that I'd like to rest another couple of months before thinking of all that work ahead! Next stop was our local Cheese Shop for some 50# bags of flour and wheat: I always like to see the new scripture they have up on their sign:We like shopping at the Cheese Shop when it's a quiet day. Busloads of tourists, church groups, and folks from all over stop here. Thankfully, today the aisles weren't crowded: Next stop was the library for a return:And...is any outing complete without a quick run by Walmart? And then, next stop--the post office to send off some snail-mail notes to Granny. She'll be looking forward to mail day now!
And last, but not least, Hannah had a coupon for some new sunglasses. The price tag on these babies was $125!! But we got them for FREE! since Sarah recently purchased new glasses: Did you notice the red ear-warmers Hannah is wearing? My sister knitted them for her for Christmas. Here's the link if you'd like to knit some for yourself! They knit up very quickly.
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Hannah, Happy Birthday to you!
With today being Hannah's birthday, Sarah and I worked in the kitchen and prepared some recipes Hannah found on Pinterest and picked out for her special meal this evening.
For the main entree, she picked Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoesfound on Julia's Album blog. The photo of the recipe looks much better on her site, but here's our version. We all liked how it turned out, and we'd definitely make it again:And for the side dish Spicy Cumin Lime Coleslaw which she found on An Oregon Cottage blog: Also we served homemade bread from the Girotti family kitchen that Hannah made yesterday on her normal Thursday bread-baking day:And here's Sarah buttering some slices for toasting: And, last, but certainly not least, the cake she picked was Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake found over at Sally's Baking Addiction blog. Sarah made the cake this morning, and it was absolutely delicious and definitely a "make again" recipe: Happy Birthday, Hannah! We are very thankful for you and pray that the Lord will shower many blessings on you this next year! ~Deb