Wednesday, September 17, 2014

125 miles!!!

Why do I feel like I am going 125 miles an hour?  My week last week was so crazy and I am really glad to glance at the calendar page for another week!  This week is not so busy.  Another week of the gorgeous September weather!!!  This might end up being a really long post???  :)

I've been racing the clock all last week.  On Tuesday we canned applesauce.  Not just a little bit mind you!  No!  We canned baskets and baskets ~ something in the twenties basket number.  I wanted 3 bushels of yummy Smokehouse & Ginger Gold apples mixed for my family.  We got together at Mom Lapps and worked at it A-L-L day long.  In fact, so long that the kids went home with Angie until Mike picked them up after work.  Then we all met at dad's for a quick supper and then mom and I went back to getting more jars of fresh applesauce canned.  I got home at 7:00 PM!!!  What a day!!!  I was so tired and very happy to know that that big day was over!  We now have tons of fresh applesauce to last us all year long!!!

Wednesday was a day of being at home and mowing the yard, doing laundry, picking beans, etc..  Then we did our family pictures that evening and the weather and location was perfect!!!  I am excited to see the finished products in a few weeks!!!  We ended the evening with eating at Olive Garden and all sharing those sweet donuts and dipping them in warm chocolate as a dessert!!!  Fun night!

Here is one that I captured while waiting for our photographer.  She is so darling!!!

Thursday was cleaning the house.  Then cleaning dad's shop.  Then to pick up the children at school.  I had a basket of pears waiting to be cleaned and canned.  I packed for the beach and for the mountains.  I made a stop at the store for some groceries.  Supper was quickly put together and on the table for my growing family.  We took Ginger to Sadie's.  Time spent with the children was done in between all the small chores!  I was very busy but not too busy to stop and remember that it was September 11!!!  I will never forget this day!  The day that the towers were distroyed and so many American families were changed.  Forever.  I will always remember this terrible day in history.  Hearing stories from people that were directly involved are interesting.  I was tuned in to WDAC and heard a powerful testimony of a pilot that was going to be on one of the high jacked planes but got bumped.  He thrives to this day to make every single day count.  A blessing.  It was 8:00 in the evening and I still had a ton of things to do yet but Ashlyn wanted me to hold her and I am so glad I did!  Having her on my lap made me stop.  Slow down.  Not everything got done on my list that night ... but it's ok.  My bed felt wonderful!!!  :)

Friday, we were up bright and early.  Mike's 125 mile bike ride day has arrived and he was nervous and excited!  As we prayed for safety and for a good ride, I held his cold hands.  He trained hard and well for the 125 mile bike ride.  He was ready to go when Matt Lapp picked him up!  I had to remind him about his water bottles and he grabbed some clean clothes to take along for after his ride.  I then had the children up and off to school.  Ashlyn and I left right after the bus pulled away from the driveway and we picked up Marlene and Colson.  We headed for Rehobeth Beach to enjoy some sunshine and then pick up the men when they arrived to their destination!  The weather was perfect for biking and for sunning!  We wiggled our toes in the sand.  We watched the ocean waves come in and go out.  Ashlyn collected sea shells.  We even applied some sun block!  We ate pizza, salad and ice cream cones.  The day was super fun!!!  The men got back in great time and Mike said the ride went better than expected.  He just wasn't sure how it was all going to be?  He trained hard and felt prepared yet nervous because he had never went that far all at once on his bike before.  They stopped every 25 miles and took a short break before getting on their bikes for more miles.  They finished in great time!  Marlene and I were not even ready to leave the gorgeous beach yet but we went for the guys and gave them high fives!!!  We traveled home with Matt Lapp's and stopped for supper on the way home.  Colson and Ashlyn did great all day long too!  They were both wanting to do exactly what the other one did.  Marlene asked Colson what he wanted to eat for lunch and he said, "What ever Ashlyn has."  :)  We chuckled!  Mike was ready to relax his tired legs but the whole experience and the whole day was such fun!!!  Good job hun!!!  I am so proud of you!!!

There were over 100 bikers this day but these six men stuck it out as a team. 
 Summer goodness!

Saturday morning came fast and we were up bright and early ... again.  My family was having a work day at the cabin.  Hadassah and Matthew went up last night already with Tony.  We drove the three hour drive and got there just in time for breakfast.  They already had everything out of the cabin and were starting to tear down the cabin.  Dad is planning to build a new cabin soon and the old, tiny, old  cabin needed to go.  EVERYONE joined the work!  The men and boys worked in the morning rain.  When the sun came out, it still left things wet.  I went to change Ashlyn from her pj's to our dress when I realized that I completely forgot all her clothes!!!  This like never happens to me because I am one that packs more than needed at times.  If we stay for two days ... normally, I pack for three.  You get the picture here so when I didn't have anything for Ashlyn to wear, we all just laughed.  It was the mountains and who really cares if we don't look our best, right?  :)  We borrowed from Shakia and it all worked out just fine.  Matthew was also struggling a bit though with his wardrobe.  The only shoes he packed were his school shoes.  They don't work very well in muddy conditions so he went searching for a pair of boots, shoes, or rubber boots.  One day he were the rudder things that slipped over his shoes.  Then the boot got stuck in the mud and his sneaker went sinking into the wet ground.  Now they were both wet and muddy!!!  So, the next day, he wore an old pair of dad's work shoes.  He tied them tight and made the best of it!  The cabin got all cleaned out and tore down and burned.  All in one weekend.  We were all safe but did need to take dad to the ER because his hand was in so much pain.  Tendenitis in his hand muscles from working them so hard the day before.  He came back with some pain meds and an ice pack!

This is the tiny cabin that my family hangs out in!  Dad is building a new one soon and so the old had to be torn down.

 The boards that were still good they put on a pile and got the nails out of them.  It was rainy but the men still worked.
 Brother John Mike was on the peddy bone a lot. 
 The junk and old cabin was then put on a pile and burned.
 The girls put on garage bags so they don't get too wet.  The big fire is glowing on them.
 There goes the roof.
 Shovels, pitch forks, gloves, hands ... whatever worked they used.

 Hammers were used to crash down old tile.
 Brother Jason was not feeling the best so he helped but sometimes just stood back and watched.

 Dear Shaelyn did great!  So cute!

 I was glad I stuck in her boots last minute.  I really should have remembered Matthew's boots too.  Muddy!

 Dad was in pain with his hand. 
 Matthew loved the whole tearing down thing!!!  Great helper!
 There it goes!
 Miss Doctor here!  :)  Jody wrapped dad's hand hoping that that would help with the pain.  Dad has a pole barn that was built right beside the tiny cabin a few years ago and that was our place to stay and eat and sleep.  Everything from the cabin got moved into the pole barn.  Worked great!
 Climbing on the roof before it got burned.

 The girls found a piece of tile that they made a project out of for their teepee.

Shambles ...
 So muddy!!!
Sunday we relaxed!!!  (Again, so happy for a day of rest!!!)  We ate a big breakfast because that's what we always do at the cabin!  We played games together!  The men and older children went for a walk in the woods.  Then we loaded up our few small bags and headed back home.  The whole weekend was so busy and we covered many, many miles!  Praise the Lord for family, friends and for keeping us safe!!!

The new cabin is in the making in just a few weeks!  We can not wait to go and enjoy the mountains in more luxury!  :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

September it is ... already!

September is here and we are still, still being busy.  :)  Nothing crazy but busy with school, house work, gatherings with friends around the campfire and the piles of extra laundry because with two campfire parties this past weekend ... everything we wore smells from smoke.

My favorite months of the year are May and September!  May brings such newness and life to all the flowers and the gardens are starting to sprout.  It makes me want to get to the pools and bring on the summer warm days!  We love the fresh lemonade and meadow tea!  September brings a crispness in the air that makes me want to still work outside, try to get into more exercising and finish up harvesting the garden foods!  Canning is still in process with applesauce and pears next week!  September brings the prettiest sunrises and sunsets!  The flowers are past their true beauty and mums and pumpkins take over the d├ęcor!  I love the fall flavors and smells too!  I lit my first autumn "hot cider" candle yesterday!  I've been enjoying my own made "apple cider latte's"!!!  They are the best!  (1/2 cup apple cider, 1 TB of: caramel syrup, cinnamon and heavy cream.  Mix and steam with a latte machine!)  Campfires are needed for warmth not just for smores.  Pulling out the long sleeves, sweaters and scarves spell FALL.  The seasons are changing and since I am such a "seasonal fan", my fire mantle got a make over.  It is now portraying more autumn colors.  The thought came to mind about getting some mums and pumpkins for the back porch, but the tempts are still pretty warm this week, so I will hold off to little longer!  Drinking hot cider, baking pumpkin pies and smelling warm apple dumplings is to look forward to!!!

My garden is still producing tomatoes, green beans and herbs.  Awhile back, when we went to a restaurant in Philadelphia, they had the best "basil dressing" I've ever had!!!  Actually, it was the first and only time I ever had basil dressing.  I could hardly contain myself!  Why have I not had this before???  I used it for a dipping with chicken.  I used it on my salad.  I even took my finger over the edge of my plate to lick the remainings!  I wished for the recipe and so when we got back home, I searched online.  I found a few different recipes but none of them stuck out to me.  Then, the other week, a blog that I like to follow, had it posted as one of her favorite dressings too!  I HAD to try it!!!  I could not wait to use our own basil from the garden!!!  I was just as thrilled with the taste and even more thrilled from all the raves that Mike gave to me!!!  He kept saying how awesome it tasted and he loved it!!!  I know that I will be planting lots of fresh basil next spring to go with our fresh lettuce and salads!!!  Thanks to "Annie's Eats" for sharing this recipe!!!

I did change the original recipe just a bit because I did not have greek yogurt on hand.

Basil Dressing: 
1/2 cup sour cream (or low-fat greek yogurt)
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
2 Tb. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tb. olive oil
2 Tb. buttermilk
1 clove garlic, pressed
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process for a few minutes.  Refrigerate in a jar with a lid until you are ready to use it.  Yield:  1 cup

Friday night, Mike and I snuck out for a date night once again.  We just love these nights out with just him and I!  Even though the restaurant told me that my favorite saucy shrimp is not on the menu anymore ... boohoo, and even though we put furniture shopping on our list of things to do, just being together was a blast!  Bonefish Grill is still a great place to eat but I just couldn't believe they took those yummy, oh so yummy, saucy shrimp off the menu!!!  And we are taking the first baby steps with our remodeling the house project and with needing some new furniture in the future, we figured we would take a look at some prices and options.  Leather???  I would love to go this route but it's double the $$$ and there was not a certain living room set that was calling out our name!  We did get some prices and I already can tell that buying new house furnishings is going to take some time.  Thanks Hun for the fun night out!!!

Saturday afternoon we had a major rain storm go through.  It dumped inches of water!  We watched the lightening flash.  Huge, long bolts of lightening struck down from the sky.  The weather did calm down awhile later and we got to sit around the campfire eating wonderful baby back ribs!  We then roasted smores and drank coffee.  Fun times around the campfire will always be memories!!!

Sunday we went to Sunday School and Matthew's class got all loud with our bible baseball game!  The girls did win but the boys made them work hard for it!  I love getting my mind refreshed with the bible questions.  We got invited to Uncle Alvins for host lunch and it was so tasty!  Alvin and Ruth always have a huge spread of good food!  Thanks guys!  We didn't stay real long because Mike had his biking goal to reach!  With his 120 plus mile bike ride coming up this week, he was sure to get in a bike ride today!  He went all the tough hills in our area and after 50 some miles, he was back home.  We invited some friends to come for a campfire at 6:30.  Again, the fire was blazing as we sat around in a circle chatting about life.  The kids played outside and roasted more marshmellows.  Nothing beats summer sunsets and starry nights!!!

Now today the kids are back to school.  It's the start of a fresh week.  Ladies Bible study at church started today too.  I am excited about learning from 1 & 11 Thessalonians!  After being late for a baby shower, then off for groceries, then home to mix up a fresh batch of peach salsa for PTF tonight, I am so thankful that Ashlyn is taking a long nap and giving me some time to blog and get to my house projects!  She is growing up so fast and she loves when we play:  doctor, mom, dentist or anyone else she thinks of.  Usually, I am the adult person and she is the patient.  So cute and she just loves to bring me her favorite play babies, Kate and Anna, and asks me to be their doctor.  I start by looking them over and then giving them a small dose of medicine.  That consists of getting a little medicine dropper and putting some water in their mouths.  I love her stage of many words and growing up.  The other day she kept saying the word "enormous".  I'm not even sure she gets the whole meaning of the word but it's way to cute hearing her say "enormous".  She also loves, loves concord grapes.  Twice we were given some and she literally could not contain herself.  I finally had to say "no more grapes"! 

My twin nieces were here the other day and they played dentist.  I thought it was so cute how they propped the chair back!!!  :)  And they are using Ashlyn's play hairdryer for their air tooth dryer.  :)  With a princess dress on!!! 

We've got a busy week ahead of us.  September is such a fun month with many fun events coming up!  I hope I can keep up with blogging!  Memories are much more fun writing about when they are fresh on my mind.  Fall officially begins in two weeks, so make the most out of these few more summer days!!!