Monday, May 31, 2010


Just some pictures from around the house...

We had so much fun with the grandparents! :)

Jesse took this picture of me.

It's so hard to get a good picture of poultry. Lol. But I love this one.

Sara is walking!

It was his idea!!

One of those generation shots that everyone wants to take. ;)

The boys were playing their version of croquet.

I love tulips. They're so much fun to take pictures of... fiddleheads are nice, too.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Camp Diary -- May 26th - 28th

John and Mr. Banga

Lydia and Hannah

May 26th, 2010

Happy birthday to Jesse! Hard to believe he's 16 already. How time flies! (That last thought seems to have become my motto lately!)

We left at 7:10 (give or take) this morning. Ellie had a chiropractor appointment at 8:15 and we wanted to be at Kenosee by 2 pm so she could be home in time for milking.

Yorkton seems huge. Surprise, surprise. Superstore was duly explored and goggled by yours truly; as was the majority of Wal-mart... which has become a monster in my absence. Whether or not it's a friendly is still being decided. On one hand, I love the variety of things now available. But what a city feel. 'Old' Yorkton, for all of it's faults, still felt like Saskatchewan. Compared to Endeavour, 'New' Yorkton reminds me of the states.

Anyway, we got to Kenosee at the time hoped and of all surprises, Michele A. had “happened” to stop in! Hehe! I love that gal. :-) So we shared dinner with her and Fr. Banga and enjoyed much glorious conversation. One thing I love about Michele is her ability to make everyone like she is speaking to directly to them. I wish I could emulate that.

But my adventures have not left me and, although I remembered everything else, I forgot my skirts and dresses. Yes, they are still hanging in my closet at home in that dandy handy clothing bag. And yes again, I nearly freaked out and almost as nearly threw up my entire stomach content. Lol! But several things happened that helped the situation. 1: I had prayed specifically that God would help me to NOT forget, and furthermore, to not let me leave anything I needed behind. So, He must have answered no and allowed this to happen for some very good reason. Perhaps to remind me some other (more important?) time to remember my dresses. ;-) Or maybe for some other mysterious circumstance that I'll never know. 2: Just as I was thinking this, we walked into our quarters (Kome “N” See) and there, at my eye level on the wall, was this plaque bearing the words, “Relax – God's in Charge”. With my mind being in the state it was (that would actually be 'province' wouldn't it? :-P), it seemed like I was receiving a command directly from God.

Amazingly, my stomach immediately calmed down and the situation... the comments from my dear family, both joking and non,... feeling ridiculous... didn't matter anymore. I vas a duck in de rain. :-)

After getting partially settled in our prospective rooms at Kome “N” See, we said goodbye to the folks and changed into work clothes (Hannah kindly lent me a skirt). The rest of the afternoon and early evening were spent working in the Mess Hall. Lydia is painting the cooler while Hannah and I wash dishes and clean cabinets. It's pretty filthy in there. They had to repair 10 feet of wall that was rotten... so the floor is covered in sawdust and all sorts of equipment/hand tools/etc. We begin painting tomorrow. Hannah and I would really like to finish the kitchen but I am kinda thinking it will be impossible to really finish until the dust and tools are rounded up and out.

I am tired and a little chilled... but I feel like I accomplished a lot and I enjoy working with my sisters. Plus the food is really good (Fr. Banga is quite the chef)... the sun is shining... Lydia is serenading us with guitar music... the power came on earlier than they predicted (SaskPower had to cut down a tree that was slowly uprooting itself over the power line... quite a nasty job)... thus, supper dishes are done... I can take a quick shower and use my brand-new, gorgeous smelling body wash... read my Bible and Victorian Poetry (yes, K, it's here with me. Slipped it in with my pillows. ;-)) before heading to bed.

I can't wait to mop the Mess Room floor. Lol!
Someone want to come help me?

Last conversation with Ellie:
The forgotten music books (see slight cardiac arrest update) were brought up and I said I thought forgetting my clothes was a worse blooper than my memory lapse with the books. Ellie disagreed. She said the books were definitely worse. Lydia said nope, the clothes were worse. Her reasoning? “You can play music from memory but you can't get away with wearing your clothes from memory.” Ellie had to concede.

May 27th, 2010

What a day. :-) Again, I feel like we accomplished a lot. But this time, it's more noticeable. :-) Our chef told us breakfast was served at 7:45 am but when we arrived on the dot in the Mother Teresa Centre, he was already seated at the table, waiting patiently for us. When we expressed our apologies, he said that we were going to get fired on our first day. Lol! After eating a good meal complete with lots of brown sugar, we set to work once again...

[Hm. My hands smell like bleach. I guess it's better than chicken innards.]

Lydia finished with the primer in the cooler, while Hannah cleaned two of their heavy duty stoves in the kitchen. Since the Mother Teresa Centre is being rented out to a family, we can't eat in that kitchen any longer... at least not until they leave. So Fr. Banga had me clean a range that was sitting in the Mess Hall. I have never cleaned a stove that needed it so badly. Lol! It was filthy. My water was like mud twice before I was finished.

And when I had completed that task, I was told to clean the floor. It was pretty mud corroded and had all sorts of garbage on it. I tried to vacuum but managed to suck up a piece of cardboard and had to get someone (namely, Fr. Banga) to do repair work. He told me that I should probably just forget about the vacuum... sweeping was safer. :-P :-D Anyways, the kitchen floor is linoleum and it cleaned beautifully. I couldn't believe how nice it looked even before I was finished. Very rewarding for the Clean-ess. :-)

We ate our last meal at the MTC at dinner and cleaned out all of Fr. Banga's cooking utensils, food, pans, etc. He parked his car (think 5'4 man, huge 70's car... so hilarious because it really does fit his personality) with a small trailer outside so we didn't have to carry it far. I loaded almost everything ...and had another interesting situation. The skirt I'm wearing of Hannah's doesn't have a button at the top of the zipper, so it has to be pinned with a safety pin. When I bent down and picked up a particularly heavy container, the strain popped open the pin! Lol! It was a little shocking. No blood, thank goodness. :-)

And in the afternoon... we did dishes (still have a few more to go) and painted. The Mess Hall has ¾ painted walls! It went fast with all of us girls working. Hannah and Lydia running the rollers; me working around the windows and doors. I have never painted before (that I can remember) so this is a very new experience. At first I was nervous because I want to do it perfectly and I couldn't control where the paint went to the extent I wished to. ;-) Thankfully, even though he insists he doesn't do any of that 'fancy stuff', Fr. Banga did buy masking tape so all of the edges of the screens and the window handles are not a solid gray. Lol.

I didn't feel tired, hungry or cold until we decided to stop for supper. When I set down my brush, I was suddenly all three and shaking all over. But we had hot tomato soup, sandwiches on sourdough and lots of chocolate cookies (I think I ate too many!!)... Hannah also started a fire in the stove. Afterwards, I took a very hot shower and washed the paint right out of my hair... and cleaned my braces... thus, shaking eliminated. ;-)

So it was a good day. I must say I enjoyed myself. :-) It's really funny watching Fr. Banga laugh. He's somewhat deaf (wears a hearing aid) so he gets into a world of his own quite often. But sometimes I look up and catch him watching us with an amused grin on his face and his shoulders jiggling. We particularly take delight in making him laugh at meal times. At home we have a little custom of looking at the #s on the bottom of our cups/glasses: the single or double number is your 'age' for the meal. Anyways, Lydia and Hannah decided to carry on the practice away from home and every time they do it, Fr. Banga completely loses it. Hehe! It's quite amusing. “What are you, fortune tellers?” “I'm five?! .... I wish.”

I must say I keep getting surprised at how much he accomplishes. When you look at him, you don't think much; he's short, round, in his upper 60's at least. I didn't realize how mechanically minded he is. I'll bet he can fix anything. He also lifted a range and moved a refrigerator by himself today. I am amazed at his strength. During dinner, he mentioned that he met Mother Teresa several times before her death. I am always curious about people who are spiritually renown, so I asked a lot of questions. He said he would bring over some books about her. I wish I could have met her because I wish to discerne for myself whether she was merely religious or a lover of Truth. At any rate, she's dead and unless she was the latter, meeting her is out of the question. But the conversation lent itself as food for thought so I am happy about that. :-)

Am I happy with the rest of life? Oh yes. I feel useful and blessed. :-) I am glad for the opportunity. Once again, my prayer is that God will shine through me and bless everyone I am around. Sometimes it seems rather impossible. Lol. I mean, look at me: I trip over my own toes. :-) But those blessed promises of God... all things are possible through Him. I am so thankful.

May 28th, 2010

Today we basically finished painting the Mess Hall. Fr. Banga said that he was completely amazed with the progress we'd made in two days. He also said he had been having nightmares about not getting all that needed to be accomplished before camp started... but I think he thinks we'll make it now.

Last night I woke up twice after sweating big time. It happens when something 'breaks' in my system. When I woke up in the morning, I wasn't feeling the greatest and was dreading putting in another day like yesterday. So I was praying for the strength to do what I needed to do as I was waking up, getting dressed and going out the door to breakfast. God's answer met me at the Mess Hall door... Lydia and Hannah were coming out as I stepped in the doorway. “Fr. Banga says it's too cold to work this morning. We're to have a break until 11.” I was pretty thankful. :-)

So over the course of the morning, I ate and rested and read... our host arrived around 10 bearing the books he'd promised me and explained some details about content. At 11 we went to work and didn't stop for lunch until an hour or so later. By that time, I was hungry!!! Hehe. :-) Soup with lots of barley and cabbage went down very well... as did the ham sandwiches.

The conversations keep getting better. This time, Fr. Banga 'warned' us about his friend John who was coming to help out. They have known each other for 28 years and Fr. Banga said that although a very good man, John can “drive you bananas!” (Fr. Banga is 67. John is about that age.) When the man walked through the door, I understood. His first words? “Oh. Sorry I'm late. I got lost.” Fr. Banga asks, “Where did you wind up, John?” “At the fishing hole!” He has a voice I thought only existed on animated movies. His energy and attention span remind me of my brother Zeke (whom we refer to as “Tigger”), he looks like no one you've ever seen and his heart is pure gold. In other words, he is bigger than life.

Anyways, these two guys carried on almost ceaselessly and the entire conversation was banter, sarcasm and camaraderie that only comes when you know someone better than yourself. After we all worked for several hours, Fr. Banga called a snack-time and we gathered around to break bread (which he had just baked this morning... it smelled soooo good. I was painting to the aroma. Honestly.) and John grumped that he didn't have his teeth in. Apparently they were out in his truck and he didn't want to walk that far to get them (which is ridiculous because he had only made 10 other trips out there to get various tools). But when he heard Fr. Banga tell Hannah to put the butter, jam and peanut butter on the table, he yelped, “You bought peanut butter?!” Fr. Banga looked at him (you have to know Fr. Banga to understand what I mean by 'looked') and said, “My girls are peanut butter freaks.” John was already at the door. “Well, if there's peanut butter I'm going for my teeth.”

Supper was leftovers again (“we don't waste food” is Fr. Banga's motto) and for dessert there was ice-cream (with chocolate! I had to have a little taste) (well, slightly more than a taste) and cake with orange frosting (which I refrained from). After supper, we girls congregated to our 'house' and relaxed. Lydia wrote, I read from one of Fr. Banga's books (which, btw, has some wonderful nuggets of truth. I'll have to share...) and Hannah read some Reader's Digest.

But just as I was thinking about heading to the shower, who should arrive but Fr. Banga with a deck of cards and a snack? We didn't understand the game at first but it started coming, thanks to his coaching, and pretty soon, we were playing just like pros (or Fr. Banga, in other words). Lol. And I, who never win on games, won by a long shot. I think it might have been an accident.... But we shall see. ;-) Afterwards, we drank (cranberry juice mixed with ginger ale) to myself and played and sang and made plans for the morrow. ;-)

Which, hopefully... maybe... will include a visit to the library and an internet connection. Whether or not it worked out as planned you will know when you're reading this. :-)

So, my eyes are beginning to close on me and it's 10:30. Tomorrow is no work, a trip to town and maybe more rain. Sunday it's supposed to snow. As Lydia says, “What else is June about besides snow?”

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

pictures and a few words

We had a bit of a celebration for Lydia's, Jesse's and my birthdays on the 23rd. It was windy and wet but the people decided to go play ball for a few hours. Lol! It was interesting to watch and even more interesting to take pictures of!

Here we have Adam W. throwing himself towards the ball; Trisha F. jumping for it; my brother Jesse maybe going to get it; while Brad S. looks on in fascination... ;)

Oh yeah. Spoons. The word had just been called.

She wishes she could play volleyball too...

Mom was doing Sara's hair. :)

False Assurance And the First Commandment -- Klaus Guenther

So six blind men of Hindustan
disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
exceeding stiff and strong;
Though each was partly in the right,
they all were in the wrong!

- Six Wise Men of Hindustan

Earlier today, a friend posted a quote as her status message that motivated me to reflect on faith, truth, etc. What worries me is that I may be serving a god of my own invention.

How much do we really believe that God matters? Who is God? What is God? And how much do we care?

God is not only the author of truth, he is the truth itself. That statement might seem to be obvious, and most people say it without thinking. Yet it has far-reaching consequences. For example, believing that the Bible is true is not the same thing as believing that God is the truth. God, as the truth himself, must express himself in a manner that is true to his very nature - the truth. It is impossible for him to lie. However, it is very easy for us to misunderstand his word, as communication is by nature a very fickle thing.

What God has revealed to us of himself allows us to know him, yet like a photograph behind glass, it reflects our own image back at us. Many Christians see the reflected image and are convinced that they know God, ignoring the image that is etched beneath the reflective surface. In so doing, they create a god of their own desiring, one based firmly on scripture.

If God is the truth (and conversely, the truth is God, which is a logical conclusion given the fact that God has primacy), the pursuit of the truth suddenly takes on a new urgency. The truth cannot be influenced by our hopes, wants, and desires. Seeking the truth, no matter how uncomfortable, takes priority over all other wants of our limited existence.

You may have noticed that I intentionally use the definite article the before truth. This is important, as while there are many truths (observations that we hold to be true), there is only one truth. We can speak of our environment in terms of truth, yet all that we know is that our senses and instruments have observed certain properties. If you ask an ordinary person about the size of the universe, you will get a different answer than if you ask an astrophysicist - and the latter will usually tell you that there is an amount of uncertainty as to whether his answer is right. The more we know about the universe we live in, the more ignorant we realize ourselves to be.

The same applies to our pursuit of the truth. Instead of knowledge of the truth puffing us up, as assumed knowledge is bound to do, it humbles us as we recognize the limits of our feeble attempts at observation. Much of the time we talk about recognizing truth. The problem with this is that recognition requires preconceptions. And how do we know whether our preconceptions of truth are valid? Would it not be better to use the analytical powers of observation to discover what really is rather than rejecting those things that do not fit our preconceived notions?

Refining one's faith is all about proving it. While most people define "proving" as finding scriptures to back themselves up, this is basically nothing more than finding one's own reflection in the glass. We must challenge our beliefs, not thinking anything too sacred. If there is so much as one scripture that disagrees, it's back to the drawing board, as we have discovered dross.

Therefore, I am not worried about people challenging my faith. In fact, I welcome it. I may be wrong, they may be wrong - most likely we both are. However, we need to be willing to shed everything for the sake of the truth. The most believable lie is the one that is 99% true. It is the reflection on the glass of things I recognize. Therefore, there is no stone that I dare leave unturned, no doctrine unchallenged.

What worries me most is that the god I serve may be one of my own devising.

I would rather know that I am going to hell even if I can do nothing about it, than rest falsely assured that I'm going to heaven.

(Used with Permission)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mom's Cheese Cake

Mom's Cheese Cake

a 2 day dessert

2 pounds cream cheese
1 ¾ C. honey
¼ C. flour (finely ground whole wheat or just use all – purpose)
2 tsp. vanilla
6 whole eggs
2 pounds sour cream

Cream honey, cream cheese, flour and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time. Add sour cream.

Butter well the whole interior of 10” spring form pan and coat with crushed graham cracker crumbs. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 325* for 1 hour. Turn off oven without opening door; let sit undisturbed for 2 hours. Refrigerate overnight or until cold.

Serve with your favorite toppings or plain. Also lovely frozen. This is a very rich dessert... one of my favorites. I could eat it more often than I've occasion to. ;-)

leave ingredients out at room temperature before mixing cake.
Mix on high while creaming cheese, honey, flour and vanilla.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Praise His Name -- Sheri Easter

That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col. 2:2)

When everything falls apart,
Praise His Name.
When you have a broken heart,
Just raise your hands and say
'Lord you're all I need.
And You'll take the pain away.'

When it seems you're all alone,
Praise His Name.
When you feel you can't go on,
Just raise your hands and say,
'Greater is He that is within me.'
You can praise the hurt away.

I love the words to this song. It's so true.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 2010 Update

May 2010

Life has been so busy of late! We have made plans to leave on the 27th of this month... we'll be staying there until August 22nd. I have been starting to get my things sorted, ready for packing. I'm also finishing up last minute writing. And, I am trying to help out around the place as much as I can. Today I made mozzarella cheese for the pizzas we're having on Sunday (23rd). Thanks to the generosity of our neighbors, we had enough milk to make a four gallon batch. I think we'll need one more to cover the amount of cheese we'll need for (at least) 6 pizzas.

Lydia came up with a wonderful idea to have a small birthday celebration/going away party for Jesse (16 on the 26th), myself (24 on the 31st) and herself (18 on in July) since we're going to be gone for our birthdays. So, we're having pizza for the main meal with cheesecake, ice-cream and sherbet with all of the toppings. :-) I'm really looking forward to it!! :-)

I've never enjoyed growing older until last year. I'm not sure what changed, other than my outlook on life. :-P Growing older signifies change and I finally decided that it's not all bad. :-) But I have been thinking a lot about how I'm spending my time. I am trying to write about every book and movie I watch, not just for my memory but because it helps me think through why I liked or disliked certain aspects. It's good brain exercise and I think I am beginning to better form my thoughts into words.

Cilla: “Do you have muckers?”
Me: “No, I don't.”
Cilla: “You should. Most of the adventure is in muckers.”

The other day, I wanted to to the back of our property to check out the creeks and sloughs and woods. It's so lovely back there. Anyways, I came across Zeke, Cilla and Uriah playing in the water. They weren't supposed to be out that far by themselves but I figured since they were already out there and no longer alone (I was there, after all) we could do some exploration. The only problem occurred when we managed to find every bramble on our property in their bare feet! Yes, they had decided to be little pioneer children and not wear shoes. Lol. I ended up carrying Cilla and Uriah over the worst of it. Some of our property is very wet and since I was wearing hikers, I had to cut some of my excursions shorter than I would have liked. There is this one slough that had dry ground through the middle of it... so beautiful. One of these days, I'm going to have to go explore further.

I have been made very happy twice this year. Once was the realization that our fiddlehead ferns weren't dead as I feared and are growing beautifully in spite of much abuse and neglect. Lol. The other time was when I discovered that most of the strawberry plants that appeared to have been winter killed were not. I love strawberries. And better yet, I love strawberries dipped in chocolate. Or strawberries eaten with Toblerone... now that combination! The visions dancing through my head beats Ratatouille's Remy all hollow. Hehe. :-D (Btw, for you fine loving food folks, you might enjoy this film...) (and for animated fans, this movie is definitely for you!) (Does anyone else out there love Ratatouille?)

I have some posts scheduled to appear upon occasion... I hate to leave the blog un-updated :-P for long amounts of time so I am trying. :-) However, I'm still not sure how much I will have written or if I should just worry about other things. It's funny how quickly life gets so busy in so many different directions.

When you think of my sisters and me, please pray for us. Please pray that we will be a blessing to everyone we are in contact with. Please pray also that my health holds and I'm able to work hard. And if you think of it :-) pray that we'll have a fun summer that leaves us blessed.

Thank you for reading my blog so faithfully over the past months. You all have been a huge encouragement to me. ::hugs:: God bless!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Taste of Home's
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

a 2 day dessert

1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
1 tsp. salt
2 pkgs (¼ oz. each) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (110* to 115* F.)
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups all purpose flour

1 pkgs (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

2 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, combine sour cream, sugar, butter and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 - 10 minutes or until well blended. Cool to room temperature. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add sour cream mixture and eggs; mix well. Gradually stir in flour. (Dough will be very soft.) Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next day, combine filling ingredients in a mixing bowl until well blended. Turn dough onto a floured board; knead 5 – 6 times. Divide into four equal portions. Roll each portion into a 12-in. by 8-in. rectangle. Spread ¼ of the filling on each to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style from long side; pinch seams and ends to seal. Place, seam side down, on greased baking sheet. Cut six X's on top of loaves. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375* for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Combine the first three glaze ingredients; drizzle over loaves. Sprinkle with almonds if desired. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 20 – 24 servings.

(This recipe is one of my favorites. Very rich, so you won't need much to satisfy that sweet tooth... Why is it that cream cheese is always an ingredient in the best desserts?)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Elizabeth Browning -- excerpts

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
'I love her for her smile... her look... her way
Of speaking gently... for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day' ---
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee, -- and love, so wrought
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry, ---
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

"Sonnets From the Portuguese"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cheesy Spaghetti Bake

Cheesy Spaghetti Bake

½ lb ground beef (we used venison)
¼ cup chopped onion
1 2/3 c. spaghetti sauce
2 oz. Spaghetti
2 T. butter
4 tsp. flour
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup evaporated milk (we used whole milk)
1/3 cup water
10 – 12 slices American Cheese
2 TBSP Parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef and onion in frying pan. Drain off fat. Add spaghetti sauce, simmer for 10 minutes. Break spaghetti into thirds. Cook according to package directions. Rinse and drain. Add spaghetti and sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour and salt. Slowly add milk and water. Cook over med. heat, stir constantly, until thickened. Add 5 slices American cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted. Spread ½ Spaghetti in bottom of 10” by 6” by 2” baking dish. Spoon all of cheese sauce over spaghetti. Top with remaining Spaghetti mixture and remaining 5 slices of American Cheese. Bake at 350* for 15 – 20 minutes.

Note: We used 8 oz. of grated cheddar on top and melted all the American cheese in the sauce. :-)

I think this is one of the best recipes of all time. We had it on Ellie's birthday (May 3rd) and everyone liked it so well, I decided that I should share it with you. :-)

Btw, we quadrupled the recipe and didn't have very many leftovers.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ladies Time Out 2010 -- with pictures :)

Note: A Special Thanks to my sister Hannah for taking many of these pictures.

Ladies Time Out 2010 “Gonna Take A Sentimental Journey” was a success! I am still completely amazed at how smoothly and quickly the details came together... the result was eye candy. :-)

On the evening of the 19th, everyone involved with LTO and some other volunteers from our church arrived at the school where the event was being held and helped to get things ready for the next day. As you can see, the gym was full and beautiful.

The tables...

The hamburgers and fries you see are were a bit of ingeniousness on Carol Steppan's part. The hamburgers are made of vanilla wafers (bun), red (ketchup) and yellow (mustard) icing, green tinted coconut (lettuce) and a peppermint patty (hamburger). The fries are hickory sticks. The container they are sitting in was first printed out on paper, then cut out by scissors and hand and glued together. We made around 160 of those on the LTO work day, earlier on in the month.

The bouquet was also something we put a lot of work into. The flowers are made of tissue paper, floral wire and lots of elbow grease. I think around 200 of those were made. The 'ice-cream' in the cup is white and tinted pink sugar.

Besides the tables, there were several displays. One held soda (mostly coke-a-cola) memorabilia.. another was all 1950's jewelry... still another displayed a 1950's Betty Crocker cookbook, records, Eaton's catalogue, records, etc, etc. A woman on our committee is an artist and she made a 1950's car out of cardboard... It was fascinating to look at it all. :-)

And there was a dance... They were excellent.

Between everyone involved, lots of clothing was found and/or donated, so the committee decided that the main part of the evening would revolve around a fashion show.

As it turned out, that was the funnest part of the evening for me. Hehe... :-D There were some gorgeous outfits.. those that weren't gorgeous were interesting. ;-) It happened that I had the privilege of wearing two of the most gorgeous. And I had wondered if I would have any at all. It's amazing how God works things out when we're not even looking for it. :-)

Since soda was such big part of the 50's era, we had a soda bar, complete with glasses, ice-cream, soda (4 flavors!) and soda jerks. :-) That was another piece of brilliance on the part of the other ladies in the committee. With the soda jerks, were the servers. Three of my sisters, Ellie, Lydia and Martha were among them and in total, there were around 14 young girls who volunteered. They were kept busy serving, of course, and washing dishes, cutting up the dessert and putting on plates. Many of the servers also doubled as models.

Ladies Time Out had never sold out completely before on any of the other years. But this time, they sold over their allotted 150 tickets. The gym was full... but not overflowing, as they worried it would be. The ladies that attended made a very colorful, appreciative audience. Many of the ladies took up the invitation to arrive in their 50's threads and the variety of costumes was a feast for the eyes! I loved taking pictures of them...

After the music had been sung, the speaker spoke out, the dessert consumed and the clock had struck past ten, the ladies made their way out the door and left the rest of us a mess to clean up. But thank goodness for those guys. They came in with only the promise of dessert and with their muscles and willing hearts, and the mess was cleaned twice as fast as it would have had they not arrived. :-) After everything was back to ship – shape order, they devoured the leftovers and departed satisfied.

Believe me, I slept in the next morning! But it was so worth all of the effort. The fun and fellowship and experience gained... it was a blessing. I am looking forward to next year. :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mark Twain

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.
-- Mark Twain

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cookie-Dough Fudge

This is a dessert from our own creativity that we've actually made a couple times. :-) It's so good. It's like eating fudge that's frozen. And the great thing about it is, it's healthy. So enjoy with pure and unstained conscience!

Cookie-dough Fudge

for the Peanut Butter layer:

mix together:
1 1/3 cups honey
1 cup soft butter
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs *
1 tsp vanilla
combine and add to above mixture:
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

for the Chocolate layer:

cream together:
1 cup soft butter
1 ½ cups honey
add and mix thoroughly:
3 eggs *
1 tsp vanilla
combine and add to above mixture:
1 cup cocoa
3 ½ cups flour
½ tsp bk powder
1 tsp bk soda
½ tsp salt

mix until thoroughly combined.

In a 9” by 13” pan, put a layer of half the chocolate dough. Spread half of the peanut butter dough over that. Freeze for 20 – 30 minutes, or when firm. When it is, spread the other half of the chocolate over the peanut butter layer and spread the final half the peanut butter dough over that. Freeze until firm... or over night.

It takes a lot of muscle to cut it up. I had to get help. :-)

*if you aren't sure your eggs are completely sanitary and safe to eat, this recipe might not be a good idea. However, raw eggs raised on the farm and pasture are very good for you. I actually prefer to eat them in the uncooked form if I can. :-) See, what did I tell you? This recipe is healthy. ;-)