Monday, July 30, 2012

Mondays are for Grace

Brother, let me be your servant.
Let me be as Christ to you.

Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

--Richard Gillard (full lyrics can be found here)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

All in the Week

We are just home from our denomination's family conference, which happens every 4 years. Michael and I haven't been in 12 years so it was a wonderful chance to catch up with so many friends, especially the couples we went to seminary with and I haven't seen in 11 years!!!

Can't be gone a week without the proper essentials -- plenty of knitting, plenty of reading, and of course plenty of tea and accessories. We stayed in dorms at a college campus. We were happy to have a suite of 4 bedrooms and one main room with a huge bathroom.

Our days consisted of sessions for the adults, classes for the kids, free time, meals, entertainment and sports. The kids were certainly tired out!!! 

David celebrated his 6th birthday while we were gone. We tried to make it special for him.

I didn't take many pictures of the large gatherings (2,600 in attendance). One of the loveliest things about the conference was the singing. Our denomination sings the Psalms, acapella. This sounds quite amazing with thousands of voices, all in 4-part harmony. 

One of the afternoon optional entertainments was a piano/flute concert with narration. It was beautiful! Our friend, Kathy, played the flute. In all the years we've known her I never had the chance to actually hear her. Wow! I had no idea the flute could be played so expertly nor in such a varied way. Incredible! Her playing was true art.

Another friend played his bagpipes for us one evening.

We gathered a few people to enjoy cupcakes on David's birthday. This made it seem like a celebration.

David was pretty excited!

 We are home now and enjoying the company of a friend from Scotland -- perfect to have someone from Britain here to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics with! Favorite part: Mr. Bean on the synthesizer! That was terrific! I did think the Queen's entrance was quite original, but also felt badly that she felt she had to stoop to give permission for that.

Well, the memories of this past week will last a long time. Fellowship is such a beautiful gift.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Full Week and the Giveaway Winners

First off, the winner's of the Tea Book giveaway by random number generator: Charis' Mum, Lovella, and Free Range Chick. If you can email me, that would be great. (hrlefebvre    atyahoo   .com)

It's been another full week around here. Wednesday evening we went to the County Fair to see the children's exhibits. Here is James with his model helicopter.

And his ABC book of vegetables.

Rachel miraculously finished her Lord of the Rings quilt. We never took a picture of the full quilt but this will have to do until we get it back. She received an Honor Ribbon for it.

Andrew did woodworking and made a planter box which he painted yellow.

He also submitted a genealogy project and received and Honor Ribbon.

Rachel with her model plane -- she loves to build models!

Rachel's knitting received a Reserve Champion.

Later, we looked at the adult submissions and Michael pointed out the crocheted pig to Laura: "Look at this pig," he said to Laura. Laura replied, "Look at this knitting." Ha ha ha! She can't distinguish between crochet and knitting yet but at least she knows what to think about these kinds of projects! She's desperate to knit herself and tries with yarn and needles. Too cute.

Watching the horse pull is always amazing. Here the horses are pulling 10,500 pounds!

One food treat was allowed and the choice was cotton candy.

I spent the entire week decluttering and cleaning our upstairs. I took out 5 huge black trashbags of garbage plus more stuff for goodwill. What a good feeling! Now I think we will have an orderly place for learning. Wonder how long the house will stay this way??? :)

Yesterday we celebrated my mom's and David's birthdays. We found this beautiful place for the kids to play.

All the leaves on the ground made me think of fall and not the middle of July.

Despite it being the first cool day in forever, the kids had fun.

And then we had a picnic lunch.

And the kids played on the playground

Then we went to Christina's for ice-cream.

And presents.

David was quite excited.

And mom loved her new slippers.

Michael and I also celebrated our 13th anniversary this week. We enjoyed a lovely dinner out and the restaurant even took this picture of us. (Once again it makes my eye quite obvious but I hope to have the eye fixed later this year.)

We are looking forward to lots of time with friends in the weeks ahead. And school will be starting before we know it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Words and Wool

I finished this little summer baby dress a few weeks ago to send to a friend's new baby. Since it was going to Maine I wanted to do something that seemed to be "Maine colors" so I chose blue and white. This is the second or third time I have knit the Emma Tunic which can be found here on Ravelry. I did pull out patterns and yarn for two more projects which are also gifts so I may need to wait before posting. I continue to motor along on the crochet afghan and am loving it so much!

As for reading, 
 I am half way through my Rosamunde Pilcher book,Coming Home. I really do love it. World War II is beginning and the main character has come of age and is making decisions on her own. I am drawn to the descriptions of every day life and the trials and joys that come the way of Judith, the heroine.

Of course the book I'm most excited about right now is my very first Tea Cookbook PDF which I mentioned on Monday. I'm waiting for my printed copies to arrive in the mail and then I will show you a few snapshots from inside. But, if you click on the link below, MagCloud will let you flip through the entire booklet yourself.

London Summer Tea Cookbook

Today I am joining Ginny at Small Things for her Yarn Along. Hop on over for more knitting and reading ideas!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Announcing: London Summer!!

I am so pleased to introduce to you my very first pdf cookbook -- London Summer: 12 Recipes for Festive Summer Teas.

London Summer Tea Cookbook
32 pages, published 7/14/2012
London Summer: 12 Recipes for Festive Summer Teas features recipes perfect for celebrating the London Olympics and the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Each recipe also gives a gluten-free option and a shortcut option.

Inside I've included 30 pages of photos, recipes, and inspiration for hosting your very own tea party, Olympic celebration, or festive summer get-together. Check out a few of the pages:

Each of the 12 recipes contains gluten-free options and "cheat's" options for adapting the recipes to a wider variety of circumstances.

You can purchase the PDF Download on MagCloud for $3.50 or you can buy a printed version (which includes a free PDF as well) for $9.90+shipping. MagCloud will also let you flip through the book so you can see what each page looks like.

This week I'll be giving away 3 copies of the downloadable PDF here on the blog. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and on Friday I will draw three winners!!!!

Also, if you would like to post a review of this cookbook on your blog, please let me know and I will email you a free copy of the PDF.

I hope you all will enjoy the booklet as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Crazies

I always forget that VBS, 4H deadlines and life in general all converge in the middle of July. It's "the Crazies" here right now! The kids are LOVING VBS though. It makes the early mornings and lots of driving worth it when they come home so excited. And the 4h projects will be great, especially when the kids see their work in the fair next week. For now its tea, chocolate, and laughter that's going to have to see us through the day! I hope you all are enjoying summer too!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mondays are for Grace

"Today is the tomorrow you wished for yesterday."

-- Mrs. Sharp's Traditions

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy Days

Christina's in-laws kindly invited us all to join them for the 4th of July in "small town" America. We had a lovely day!

The day began with the parade, which conveniently comes right by the Walls' home!

Each entry is always interesting to observe.

Horses are a must for a parade.

I rode my bike in a parade when I was 4. I still think about what fun it was! 

Lately I've been thinking about how much I miss the get-togethers of my childhood. I rarely see my aunts, uncles or cousins anymore and I grieve over that.

But right now is the time my children are making the memories with their aunts and uncles and cousins that will last them a lifetime.

This clown rides in the parade every year!

Mommy and Daddy and baby.

The Walls' church had a float in the parade.

This town is famous for having a "tractor parade." This entry must really show the economic downturn -- smallest "tractor" ever!

I thought Laura would be more animated at the parade but she wanted to sit on Michael's lap and just take it all in.

Michael pointed out that many of the tractor drivers had "their girl" with them, just like the motorcycle men do!

And there were plenty of farm wives driving too!

Of course, for the kids, the parade is all about the candy!!!

After the parade there was ice coffee, lemonade and donuts to enjoy before lunch.

The homemade gluten free donuts were wonderful! You can find the recipe here on the Mennonite Girls can Cook. 

Water play was a must in the 102F weather! (And just so you know, it is predicted to go to 108 today with the heat index higher!)

Our cookout lunch was delicious with a watermelon basket our neighbors made for us!

Surprisingly, we managed to spend most of the day outdoors!

The kids occupied themselves quite well.

Now that mom has "retired", she is around for holidays! yay for being with mom and my two sisters!

Craig and Em joined us and spent a lot of time entertaining the kids.

They brought a gluten free cookie pizza!

And we had two amazing gluten free pies -- blueberry and strawberry/rhubarb

Dolly needed to have tea too!

She and John had a wonderful day together except for one minor moment. Here they are playing on the piano.

A lovely day of family memories!

Next week is VBS at my mom's church and visits with friends and family. Summer is proving to be a time of lots of "people time". And the 4h fair is really only days away -- must get those projects done!

I hope you all have a good weekend!