Friday, October 30, 2009


The colors this year are breathtaking. The leaves seem to be shouting at us to pay attention. Liz wrote a great blog on the leaves. There's just something about fall. It smells like football and fire and decay. The clear days are dazzling. The cloudy days are comforting. As we waited for the bus yesterday, we couldn't see the sun for the clouds, but the trees glowed. It made me feel as if I'd stepped into another world. The sunrises and sunsets demand applause they are so breathtaking. This Sunday Fred said, "Where's the camera? I have to take pictures of this." So he went outside to try to capture the wonder of fall, the blessing of God. Then we hopped in the truck and drove around taking pictures of people's trees. We had a great time and you can see some of the results. I feel like I've had a taste of Heaven. Happy fall.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Homecoming and Caramel Apples

Ready for Homecoming Can you see the space between the two in the middle? He's so shy! And that makes me thankful.
Lauren, Jon, Bree, Fred, Sarah, and Denny. Zack is missing because he was told the wrong time. He got there shortly after we left.
Saturday was a big day in our house. Fred went to his first homecoming dance. He went with a group of friends rather than with a date, and he had a wonderful time. They didn't spend a long time at the dance, but they went out to dinner and then went to Lauren's house after the dance for a bit. It was fun helping to get ready and then hearing about it when he got home. He danced half of a dance, but didn't want to fight the crowds. I'm thankful that it's over, in a way. It was harder sending him off than I thought it would be.
I attended a "Revive our Hearts" conference this weekend. Nancy Leigh DeMoss spoke, and it was a great weekend. She talked about our need to be broken before God instead of being proud. I was convicted and refreshed. Now the hard part--practicing what I heard.
My only experiences with caramel apples include Kraft caramels or the wraps. This weekend, inspired by a post from Heidi last year and a conversation with a friend last Wednesday at Bible study, I decided to make them from scratch. Since Ben has braces and can't eat a whole caramel apple, and everyone usually just wants the caramel anyway, I just made the sauce into which we dipped apple slices. I didn't want to run to the store so the ingredients had to be on hand. I settled on two different recipes to try, just in case.

The first recipe said to heat a skillet and then melt white sugar in it. The only sugar I had was "Sugar in the Raw," but I decided to try it anyway. After the sugar melts, you pour in heavy cream. This is some of what I ended up with. I'm not sure if the lumps are because the cream was cold, or because it wasn't white sugar. The caramel that we got out of this pan was AMAZING, though. People would sneak back into the kitchen to eat the lumps of caramelized sugar!
The other recipe used the typical butter, brown sugar, milk combination. It looked better, but the taste was more that of artificially flavored caramel.

The finished product was so good! We ate a lot of apples that night. I think we'll devour the leftovers tonight.
Three subjects in one post is a lot, I know, but I need to post when the time arises!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The praying mantis decided to ride with us to Monticello. He was inside the va.
This flower from a bean plant smelled heavenly.
Fred said he wished we had a yard like this. We do! We just don't have gardeners working it every day.
This is the view from the vegetable garden into the orchard. Breathtaking!
Joseph's Coat. Jefferson labeled every plant with sticks.

This was the sunset on the way home. Isn't God amazing? I love His pallet.

Saturday we finally made it to Monticello. I've been hoping and planning for years to get everyone there. It's so beautiful and educational. Peter didn't have a game Saturday since it is Columbus Day weekend, so we bit the bullet and headed to Charlottesville. The house tour great, but we spent most of our time outside. The country is awe inspiring, especially in the fall. When I downloaded the pictures, I found that there is only one of the house. Ben took most of them, but Fred and Peter took some, and they are mostly of flowers and gardens. We took the garden tour this time and got to listen to a guide talk about the plants Jefferson experimented with while he was there. He had such an active, inquisitive mind. He planted many "experiments" there including a cigar tree. Someone on the tour asked how it was growing there since there isn't a lot of water and it's so far north. Our guide said that Jefferson didn't know Charlottesville is in zone 7. Food for thought. If you are ever near, Monticello is worth the time to visit. Fred wants to recreate the gardens at our house. That would be nice.

Friday, October 2, 2009


So I guess blogging has slipped waaayyy down on the importance scale. Also, I was mistaken about that whole vacation thing because only 2 are in sports. This week included subbing 2 days, parents on the weekend (for which I am very thankful), two trips to the dentist, 2 small groups on Wednesday, groceries, and laundry. Today I'm home. I love my home. I love being home. I don't know how working moms keep up. Honestly.

Fred is starting at tonight's football game, which I will miss. I'm very excited for him. He's worked hard. It's an away game, and I will have at least 4 boys here who don't want to go.

Our church is doing a study on worship. All of the small groups are doing a study on it as well. I've been moved to see how God is speaking to so many in our groups about worship. I'm still trying to figure out how worship becomes a lifestyle when distractions abound. Our exercise for this week is to say aloud, whenever prompted, "Praise the Lord. I praise you Lord for who you are." Just that statement has helped to bring me back to sanity, peace, coherence.... I want to understand worship in a deeper way, but I am guilty of putting things off until there is time. My prayers have been "on-the-run" prayers this week, and I miss that time with God. I need that time, but when? How? How will I be able to do this when I start subbing full time after Thanksgiving? I don't know, but I know that God can show me if I take time to listen. I hope for some of that today.