Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sabbath Day in West Virginia

On Sunday morning we (actually Julie) managed to get all six children and herself ready for Church. Peter waits and goes with the family, which I so appreciate as a Pastor...and it takes some doing. Here they all are ready to board the Jones bus for church...minus Cecily and adding Kory.
Julie brought out Cecily, and here the pretty ladies are...all smiles to go and worship our good God.
Later in the day we again boarded the Jones bus for the home of Mr. & Mrs. Bill Oldland, one of the Church families. They live on a beautiful 10 acres about 1/2 an hour from Morgantown. It was my first chance to experience the countryside of West Virginia, and it was memorable. It was also 'game night' for the Church family. We had a barbecue and potluck dinner first of all. Then most of the ladies and babies sat and visited while the men, teens and small children played the games. What a lovely afternoon and evening we enjoyed!
Kory and Hannah Moss played a bean bag toss sort of game, while Ben thought their board would make a great place for climbing.
Julie took Millie, Cecily and a guest for a ride in a wagon around the large lawn area.
Millie wondered about the 'guest' but didn't mind a bit sharing her spot with him.
The Oldlands have a wonderful wooden play set, and Millie spent tons of time there and on a rope swing with Grammy pushing. Isn't she the picture of summer playtime?
Sam, Will, Ben and Cal spent quite a bit of their time collecting squirming things. Nothing like a happy boy and a muddy bucket full of things boys like to collect. The Oldlands have a creek on their property, so of course salamanders were lots of fun to catch.
William is showing off the casings he collected after the men and boy's target shooting session way up in the woods. The women thought it was a bit loud, but the men and boys all had big smiles.
Here's Kory getting ready to toss in her bean bag. You can see the hole that she would be aiming for on the opposite board.

Here's a shot of the lawn area and some of the sweet fellowship going on. All ages and all enjoying each other and the beautiful day.
Ern, the student from Malaysia is in the front row of the volleyball game. He talked Kory into playing, and she had a great time. It's so fun to see the college boys playing and having a great time.

A broader picture of the volleyball teams and Pastor Peter right up in front blocking. Several of the girls wear dresses/skirts most of the time, so played in their skirts and looked great.
We stayed as day faded into twilight and then to dusk. The humidity was so high that clouds of moisture came up from the ground...and looked to me like fog. But you could see through it easily enough, and it didn't stay too long after dark. Really strange to me, but pretty. The fireflies came out too and joined our party.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tea Party

After a very busy few weeks we are going to try and get back to blogging, and my trip to Julie's. My niece was married in Seattle on July 11th, and since I had a 40 year class reunion the following Saturday I decided to stay the week with my brother. I think I am home now for a long while, so I will later post about the Seattle trip. Now to the very fun tea party at Julie's....

Jennie: After talking about how fun it would be, one afternoon we planned a tea party for everyone. Now of course this is in addition to cooking 3 meals for 9 people that day, so we had to keep it rather simple (but elegant!)

Jennie: Julie and Kory made up a big batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and Kory cut up fresh strawberries while I 'played' with the other children.

Here is everyone, except the picture-taker, Peter, ready to enjoy the treats. Julie provided a really nice selection of teas to choose from, and she put hot water into the teapot. Even the boys like tea parties...partly for the good food of course.

Jennie: I think I am tasting someone else's tea, to make a decision on which one to choose. It helps to have these beautiful trays and cups of English china!

Jennie: Everyone wanted hot tea of course...no hot chocolate substitutes here!

Jennie: Julie and I just love this photo. If you look carefully you can see Millie imitating Kory exactly. She was watching Kory, and completely absorbed in the details of how a 'big' girl does things. I also really appreciated Peter joining in. I think he would rather have let the ladies do their thing, but by example is showing his boys that 'real men' do enjoy tea parties occasionally.

Jennie: Millie has her own cute tea set (metal) which she used when we were through. She was so exited about the whole thing. Even she had 'hot' tea.

Jennie: All little girls love to pretend...and so pretend met reality that afternoon. What a fun time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Cooking

Well, the rest of the pictures of mom's trip here will be posted eventually. The delay is due to her traveling AGAIN last week! She's quite the globe-trotter since her foot is feeling better. I'm sure she'll be sharing about this second trip as well. In the meantime, I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of some recent good things at my home.
Veggie season is in full swing and the eating is SO good! I know all who are reading this are enjoying the same freshness of your own local veggies. Saturday night we grilled some marinated London Broil and used my grill basket to cook some summer squash, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. There was fresh lettuce from the garden with tomato, red pepper and cucumber and the non-descript-looking item on the far left is cole slaw with my garden fresh cabbage.
The dinner was delicious, but I was also pretty excited when the doorbell rang and the mailman brought a package with a surprise. Without my knowing it, my husband had ordered me two new cookbooks that come highly recommended. One is entirely slow cooker recipes, and the other is all non-typical casserole recipes. I really have wanted some fresh ideas for main dishes and I can't tell you the delight these books brought me. SO, I just need to try them out now!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Coopers Rock

Jennie: One evening we all decided a trip and picnic to Cooper's Rock was just the ticket! It's about 1/2 hour from the house out to a beautiful park up in the countryside in some very beautiful rocks. I think we have posted photos from there before.

We read a little Wind in the Willows on our way...and of course they had to see the illustrations...

Once there we had to pick the perfect picnic table, and then the kids were off and running. It looks much like a campground in Central Oregon in this photo, but trust me there are NO Ponderosa Pines there!
Julie: The above picture was taken specifically to show mom's oldest and youngest granddaughters with her.

All of us held and entertained Cecily while the kids explored....of course Milly explored the picnic basket!

Look at that pretty red hair and blue eyes...she is going to be a charmer.

Of course the boys were all busy looking for snakes, spiders, bugs, frogs, and any or all creeping things. Ben and Cal are showing us a salamander they caught. Boy, can those things jump! Sam caught a glimpse of what he thought was a copperhead snake, and we advised him to look in other areas.

Millie joins right in and knows just where to look for creeping things too....

But she is also very domestic, and takes a big interest in preparing the food (or is she just hungry?). Here she is helping Mom out by cutting up the big pieces of barbecued chicken we cooked.

Her braids are still in and going strong...

Julie: Looking close, you can see a little gazebo in the background of the above picture. It's where we took the pictures below.
There was a stone tower not very far away to explore, and although it was not open as you can see, Millie had a great time looking in the windows with Kory.

After dinner we hiked a little ways to a lookout built right on a rock ledge....with a glorious view of the hills and Monongahela River Canyon.

Although the view is a little misty due to high humidity, here's a wonderful view of Julie, Will, Ben and Cal with Cecily in the backpack.

We added Kory and Samuel into the mix...

then a special shot of Kory and Julie. Cecily is always happy in her backpack, and is playing happily never noticing she's on the edge of a very deep drop off!

Sometimes Kory was one of the adults....and then other times one of the kids!

A nice shot of the Jones family.... She's never very expressive or anything....

Gram and Sam looking for bear....as they were leaving some young men had told us they had just seen a bear in the woods below the lookout. However exiting that was, we got nary a glimpse.

Who's Millie's favorite playmate?

Big granddaughter and little granddaughter....and it's time to go. What a fun evening. We are blessed.

One last photo before the ride home...

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Jennie speaking: We did a variety of fun things together, the first days of our visit. All the fun was interspersed of course with the chores of feeding and clothing a large family! We did a major shopping at two stores the first day (after Julie planned the menu and made her lists). Cooking then played an important role in the days ahead, and was definitely part of the fun. Here are a few sample photos of time spent with the kids in some ordinary kind of days... Kory is the artist of the family currently, so she spent time drawing with the kids and making paper airplanes and decorating them. Kory and Millie with their completed drawings!

Reading to whoever wants to listen is one of my favorite things to do with grand kids. I brought a copy of Wind in the Willows to read, and although they have already heard it, and could tell me what came next, they loved hearing it again.

This was a book just for Ben and Cal and Grammy...

Everyday, Kory did something different with Millie's hair. They both enjoyed it a lot, and Julie and I enjoyed the results!

Today was cute braids...but the curls just couldn't help escaping!

I also brought Julie's baby book with me. I had been working on redoing it, and have the first year done. All the children gathered around to see what their mother (and Papa, Grammy, Aunt Joy and Aunt JoAnn) looked like all those years ago. We had a fun time looking back 33 years ago.

Kory was so good with all the kids...here she is playing and cuddling with Cecily. Cecily is 9 months old and doesn't like to get too far away from Mommy, but she would go to Kory without complaint!

A perfect toy for Cecily to grab and shake!

I also brought a craft project for the kids. Several years of working in crafts with the kids in Vacation Bible School has left me with some good ideas of what kids like. I cleaned out the Insurance Man' closet for his old ties and brought one for each of the kids. We set up a table in the basement and sewed, stuffed, glued and ripped to make 'snakes' out of the ties.

Here's William stuffing his...

and Samuel is cutting out forked tongues from red felt.

Sometimes the stuffing would pop out and Grammy or Kory would come to rescue with needle and thread.

Kory worked extra hard helping Millie, as it was a hard project for a 2-year old...

and here's everyone with their finished results. The snakes each had rattlers, as we stuffed a little canister of beans in the tails...and voila! fierce and cuddly rattlesnakes.

Julie: They LOVE their snakes!

What a fun time we had!