Celebrating Independence Day this year including two full meals one with friends and another with family.
The one with friends also included lots of fireworks and oohs and aaas.
A few days later we got together with family and enjoyed a great meal, homemade ice cream and swimming.
There was also the newest member of the family present…a puppy (not ours).
Recently Keith and Travis were discussing the health benefits of manna bread so Keith decided to make some. I’ve always heard the phrase “manna from Heaven”, which is a reference to the food God gave the Israelites during the Exodus and has become synonymous with a sudden happening that brings good fortune. Until this weekend I’ve never had manna bread. It is bread made from a sprouted grain, which uses only the Essene’s technique to make the very simple and healthy bread.
Keith added sunflower seeds to the top of a portion of the bread. The bread has a sweet taste and the texture reminds me of bran.
While I was helping my Dad move I noticed a couple of cast iron skillets that were quite rusty.
I brought them home knowing that Keith could make them look as good as new. The first step he does is put them in a very hot oven. Sometimes this makes the whole house stink and fill up with smoke.
Once they are cool he soaks them in vinegar water then scrubs them with steel wool.
Next step is to season them and heat them again.
Finally, with these, he did a test drive with them before giving them back to my Dad.
Thanksgiving 2014 was two days after my Mom died unexpectedly. The funeral home and church were closed so there was little that could be done to plan the next steps. We opted to stay true to our family tradition and count our blessings by enjoying one another’s company and Thanksgiving Day food. My husband posed in the kitchen to attest to the Thanksgiving aftermath.
I expected my birthday to include a visit with my mother-in-law, a trip to Best Buy then back home in time for my dad, mom and daughter to visit. But, that’s not what happened.
Walking into my mother-in-law’s house I was surprised by the additional guests that included my son, daughter and her boyfriend. We ate, they sang Happy Birthday to me, I opened some cool presents (including what I was going to get at the expected trip to Best Buy), then we headed on. It was a perfect birthday celebration.
We stopped at Best Buy anyway to pick up a keyboard and mouse to go with my new 25″ monitor. Then headed back home.
As I turned the corner from the hallway into my dining room I heard in unison “Surprise!” My dad, mom, son, daughter, daughter’s boyfriend, brother, sister-in-law, aunt and three cousins had decorated my house, brought drinks, plates, a special birthday hat and made my favorite homemade cake. I was truly surprised.
Within a short time, we all gathered around while my mom read from her autobiography the portion about the day I was born. Next, I began opening the stack of cards and present they brought for me. Finally, I made a wish, blew out the candles and we each had some homemade cake with real whipping cream my mom made. But that’s not all…the present I unwrapped is a story all by itself.
The present I got is a dress made so that we could re-create one of my childhood photos. Last year my dad saw a photo of me taken when I was 10 years old holding one of his radio controlled airplanes and he told me that he still has that plane. We thought it would be cool to re-create that photo someday and within a few days he brought the plane to my house where it has been for over a year.
A few weeks ago Keith and my dad were discussing my upcoming birthday when Keith mentioned that I was still wanting to re-create that photo. Instantly, my dad knew that’s what he wanted to make happen for my birthday. He came over to my house while I was at work and cleaned the airplane making sure it was ready for the photo. Then my dad enlisted clerks at various fabric stores to help him compare fabric in the stores to the fabric of my dress in the picture trying to find the closest match. After he purchased the fabric he then needed to find a seamstress and my Aunt Claudia volunteered for that task.
So, when I opened that present and saw that dress I immediately knew the plan –we were going re-create the photo!
I nervously put the dress on hoping it would fit and it fits perfectly. My aunt is amazing!
Next, we decided on the location. Since the original photo was taken while we lived in Wichita Falls, Texas but we live in Oklahoma City now we opted to go to a nearby park. We loaded up the RC airplane and scoped out a good spot. It was a bit windy but several of us worked to get the angles close to the original.
See what you think of the results, click the image to zoom in.
I had a great birthday, spent time with people I love on a fun project. Thank you to all involved, it was a perfect gift for me.
My favorite home-made ice cream that Keith makes is chocolate cherry almond and he made some this week. He couldn’t find his original recipe but he found one close, which resulted in doing a few different steps. One of those different steps was to use real cherries and then he got a bit inventive in order to easily remove the pits from the cherries. He used a shell casing.
Our backyard faces the west so we get the afternoon and evening sun. This past weekend we used our new versatile shade sail by Coolaroo in our backyard when our kids visited for an afternoon cookout. It was so nice to sit under cover of the shade in our newly painted vintage metal lawn chairs.
We drove the 30 miles south from our lake place to Whitesboro, Texas (population 3,783 in 2010 ) yesterday afternoon to get a bite to eat and saunter around some antique stores on their Main Street. Our first stop was Lovejoy’s on Main, which is a quaint, comfortable place to have good food and great experience.