Monday, August 29, 2011

Down By The River

Upon our arrival in South Carolina, we were greeting with fine greetings from our host and hostess. It was just after 11pm on Saturday night, so after the greetings were over, Josh, Adam, and myself collapsed into bed. Sunday we were treated to some fine Southern preaching, which brought back childhood memories of our Southern Pastor, who could shout with the best of them. (He had gradually adapted the more Northern way of preaching and was quite tame by the time I graduated High School...)

After church, Carissa and Adam H. (our fine hosts) took us to the river for a picnic. When they said picnic, my mind conjured up images of a gentle, grassy slope, where we could lay out our blanket and enjoy our packed lunches in the warm sunshine. Maybe after our lunch, we could, if we so desired, dip our feet into the cool edge of the river and watch Josh do some splashing... Well, it was awful silly of me to imagine any such thing, because there was no gentle, grassy slope to lay out our blanket on, and the warm sunshine was blocked by a cool canopy of limbs and leaves.
We picked our way carefully down the rocks and stepped into the cool stream. You could see looks of displeasure coming from my husband's face. This was not what he had expected either. He was hungry and had been hoping for a gentle, grassy slope on which to eat his lunch. Carrying the cooler in one hand and holding Josh's hand in the other, he picked his way over the slippery river rocks with a warning to me, not to drop the camera.
We walked for a ways, with Mr. Hall and Carissa in the lead, and Adam scowling more and more, as his stomach began to growl painfully. The river curved round a bend, and there along the shore line, was a rocky beach of sorts. It was here, on the rocky beach, that Mr. Hall unfurled the blanket and Carissa got out the picnic lunch. The river babbled it's watery song while we munched happily on our ham sandwiches, chips and cookies. Our hunger was finally satiated and the scowl lines in Adam's brow had softened.
By this time, the water was calling to us and we left the dry picnic blanket and dipped our toes into the water. We ventured further until the water lapped at our calves. Before we knew it, we were all kids again, our hands in the water, pulling rocks out and moving them to where they would better suit our purpose. Soon, the water was rising and Mr. Hall and Adam joyfully made a game out of seeing how fast they could get the current moving.
There was a lot of laughter and smiles as the boys got in touch with their "inner child". The current was so strong that even as grown men, they struggled to walk through the knee-deep water. One could tell that they were mightily pleased with the results of their hard work, making memories all the way.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Brief Stop in Pittsburgh

On the way to South Carolina, we stopped in Pittsburgh and spent the night with Adam's friend Josh. We didn't have a lot of time to spend in Pittsburgh, but he did accompany us to breakfast in the morning, before sending us on our way. We went to a place called Jo Jo's where Adam bought the biggest omelette any of us had ever seen. Pittsburgh sits in a valley surrounded by hills and mountains, so after our tummies were full and had said our good-byes to Josh, we sought out an overlook so we could enjoy the view of the city.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Beartown State Park (I told you I wanted to go there)

This month we took a family vacation to see some good friends of mine. Adam, Josh and I drove 14+ hours to Greenville, South Carolina. It wasn't a bad drive, but I did take us two hours out of the way to see this really great park called Beartown State Park, in West Virginia. Josh had a hard time driving through the mountains, as all the curves and hills were making him carsick... But he loved the rocks and caves at the park. I'm pretty sure we even heard a bear, though it could've been something else... I'm hoping to share little clips of our adventure with you so "bear" with me!
Josh loved exploring the boardwalks at Beartown. He
often ran ahead a little ways to get a peek before we could.
"He hideth me in the cleft of the rock."
Each rock formation was topped with trees
and ferns like a little island. It was so gorgeous.
We had to stay on the boardwalks,
but they too us to all the good spots.
Isn't he a cutie face?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Truth is in the Pudding (Whatever that means...)

One would think that if you could bake you should be able to cook, right? How about wrong. I consider myself to be a moderately good baker. After all, I can bake pies with the best of them and my cookies aren't too bad either. But I have to admit, my cooking skills just aren't up to par. In fact, they are lagging behind. Not only can I not seem to remember to take meat out to thaw, but bringing a meal together just doesn't always happen. Like tonight, for instance....

I'm trying to clean out my fridge. I don't want any leftovers in there this weekend. It's just time to clean out all that old stuff. Yesterday we had bacon sandwiches and leftover pasta. The pasta was gross in and of itself, let alone being leftovers already. So tonight's dinner made day three of bad dinners. I had the brand idea to make split pea soup in an effort to use up some bread in the fridge. (We have several odd loaves/packages of bread in there.) Yes, make soup to use bread. Everyone knows that you are supposed to eat bread with soup. Now, I have one very distinct memory of eating split pea soup, and that memory comes from my childhood. My Mom only ever made split pea soup once, probably due to how well it was received. Us kids sat at the dinner table much longer that night as we struggled to swallow that insipid soup. The longer we sat, the more horrible the soup became... And yet, I still chose to make split pea soup for supper. I thought that maybe, just possibly in the past 15+ years, my taste buds had matured enough to appreciate the green soup delight. Unfortunately for me, they had not. Even Adam, who typically appreciates split pea soup, did not finish his serving. And poor Josh uttered his disdain for our supper at his first tiny taste. Well, it was our supper and so Adam and I toughed it out for most of our bowlfuls, but were kinder to Josh as we told him he must eat only five bites. He struggled through each bite, grimacing and shuddering and plugging his nose. He was doing so well... But we should've told him four bites. I'll leave it at that. Good thing I know how to bake. I should've gone with my first thought and just served bread pudding for supper. No worries though, I whipped up some bread pudding with blueberries in no time. I was even able to rid my fridge of one more half eaten loaf of bread, a container of cream cheese, the rest of the half and half, and a scoop or two of yogurt. I was a little concerned about all the extra stuff I was putting in the pudding, but there was no need for concern. After all, the truth is in the pudding, I can bake better than I can cook.

(PS The photo is not mine. It is from, where I kinda followed the recipe from.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm at it Again

I want to go *here*. Just in case you were wondering...

A Bible Club Finale

Bible Club ended today. But may Bible Club never really be ended... My neighbor asked Jesus to wash away her sins and give her a new heart. Another neighbor came back after club to ask me why God would want to pay for our sins, why He would die for us. Three weeks ago, my friend Cindy and I were disappointed with the low turnout of kids (or lack of any), but remained faithful to the plan. We struggled through the last weeks, but our God brought it all together today. We closed out our club with a party, but not before a very good lesson and overview of the Wordless Book. We played multiple games and crafts and even fed the five kids in attendance (including Josh) hot dogs for lunch. And then, when things were settling down and the dust clearing, we got a peek at the fruit of our labor. I wonder what the Lord will do next?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You Don't Have to Read This

Just wanted to say this has been a rather hard/wonderful summer. Some things have been wonderful and, well, some things super hard. The whole changing churches thing I feel is taking it's toll on me. Having a church family and regular fellowship is really important to me, but not only have we left our home church of eight+ years, we also are not regularly attending or going to be regularly attending the church of our choice for quite a while. Adam is going to be helping do sound at another church in the city through the months of September and October. And more than likely, we will not be able to get plugged into our new church until November. Thankfully, I have been attending a small group Bible study midweek through the summer. The group is made up of young married or single adults in their 20's or 30's and I feel like I've made some good connections with people or at least am starting to. It helps that one of my bff's was part of the group to start with. But now our group leader has just informed us that he will be leaving our group with a new leader in the fall and going off to start another group. Yeah, the one part of "church" that held some normalcy is now going to be... well, different. It just stinks extra much because our group leader was good at making everyone feel welcome, accepted and, I guess, part of the group. It's hard... Especially when every other night or so, I dream about things going on at the church we left and in my dreams I end up crying because I am missing out on what's happening. I don't want to make friends at the church Adam is helping at because we aren't going to stay there (nor do I want to). The new church is absolutely huge and the only thing that makes the huge part not so bad, is the small groups. I just wish Adam could come with me... I'm not complaining, I'm just saying it's not easy. I know it'll be for the best, but right now I have a lump in my throat and I wish Adam was awake so we could talk about it... But he is sleeping and the next best thing in to blog it.