Blog Archives

Make Your Home a Haven Challenge

I just wanted to take a minute and share this challenge with the ladies. It’s from the Women Living Well Blog and I’m going to take a breath once a week to do this. I thought maybe someone else out there would like to as well. Just click on the button and you’ll be magically transported to the challenge.

 

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

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Love Potion

I thought I better get this out before it’s too late in the day for you to go get supplies. A family Valentine tradition our family enjoys (and for which I have been in trouble for when forgetting previous years) is Love Potion. It’s easy, it’s tasty and it’s pink.

What you need:

  • Raspberry Sherbet
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Sprite or 7-Up
  • Pretty glasses
  • Crazy straws

This is very complicated so pay attention: Place a scoop or two of sherbet in the pretty glass. Fill 1/2-full with pink lemonade. Fill the rest of the way with your sody pop. There you have it. The straw makes it more fun. Kids love this, it’s yummy and just one little thing we can do to make the day more special. We also make pink, heart-shaped pancakes. What Valentine traditions do you have? Please share!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

When Birds of a Feather Have too Far to Fly

Everybody showed up for church today. It was a packed house and it was so nice that the weather allowed us to open windows to welcome the breeze and rain cooled the air. When that many peeps pack a house, it can get mighty warm mighty fast. But today was pleasant and folks hung out later than usual. The small fries were able to run amuck outside and the older set played Ultimate Frisbee and some basketball. The dessert table included Pumpkin Rolls, Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Whipped Cream, and we made Pumpkin Crunch. The singing is always great and, though I’m dead tired and kept trying to fall asleep, there was a teaching time that was anointed. I was also blessed simply by the conversation shared among sisters. Very convicting. I was reminded of how a wife has the power to turn a perfectly decent husband into a monster, a lame husband into a worse one, or a monster into a perfectly decent husband. That’s another blog post.

Today’s biggest focus, besides Christ, of course, was the imminent departure of our friends from South Africa. Walter, Elaine, Janna, Nadia, and little François. They have spent the past year with us as dear friends and members of our church. For most of the past year, Lenae took Autumn and Isabelle to the our friends’ home each Monday to give a ballet lesson to help them learn English, have friends their own age and, of course, learn ballet basics. Lenae used what she has learned from working at Dance Techniques and it was fun to watch her put together lesson plans for them and talk about how each lesson went. There were days they stayed longer so the girls could play. The friendships made between the girls and the bond that Lenae developed with Elaine were precious to watch. We’re already talking about sending Lenae to visit in South Africa after we can save up enough money.

It’s been fun learning about the differences as well as similarities in our cultures. What’s been especially enjoyable has been sharing the love of cooking with Elaine. She’s a fabulous cook and always goes over the top. We’re likeminded in the importance of presentation and experimenting. When we asked her what her likes and dislikes of American cuisine are, she said she likes it all. If she weren’t moving back, we would put her to work at our shop. She said if she were staying, she would love to. Man, I wish we had opened earlier!

Elaine and I also like to laugh. We enjoy good humor and good jokes. Her joy is contagious and I’m going to miss having that around. If laughter is good medicine, I’m a healthier person because of Elaine. As it usually goes, I regret I didn’t take the time to get to know her better earlier in the year.

So, this week, our friends will be heading back home on an 18 hour flight with little kids (pray for them!) and they have so many mixed emotions. They’ve missed their family and friends and country but will miss being here. My emotions aren’t mixed at all. I’ve already had the tears fall a few times the past week (and tonight) and I would love it if all of their family just moved here. But, since that can’t happen, we’re already having serious discussions about saving for a trip to South Africa, preferably around New Year’s because they have this way-awesome international fireworks competition at Cape Town! Who knew? Until then, thank God for internet. I’m gonna have to learn to use Skype.

Play With Your Food!

Michelle

Serving Italian to South Africa

Our friend, Elaine, and her little ones came over for dinner yesterday. Her DH was out of town so we’ll have him over another day. Elaine is from South Africa and she’s here for the year due to her husband’s job bringing them over here for a long stint. He’s been here before but for only short spells, like 6 weeks at a time. We are SO thankful he was brought over for a year so we could get to know him and his family but it seems ironic that they come from exotic South Africa to Hagerstown, IN. They have been here since the fall and their little ones, who didn’t speak a bit of English, are so funny! (They know some, now, though). The little girls play with ours and they have a grand time despite the language barrier. They have learned enough to get by and I find it absolutely hilarious to hear the younger one speak Afrikaans with a Hoosier accent! As if that would make her language understandable to us! Too cute! I have no idea what she’s saying but there’s no doubt she’s replaced the beautiful South African accent with our drab Midwestern modulation in hopes of being understood or, at least, mistaken for a local resident. Not gonna happen, sweetie!
We enjoyed fascinating conversation and learned much about her home. A political leader there was recently brutally murdered and the country is in an emotional state right now. Elaine has been told by family that they couldn’t have picked a better time to come to America. We think we have it bad here but it’s still the best country to live in (at least for now!) We’re kind of hoping that Elaine and her family end up moving here…we’re greedy, we know.
So, we served:
  • Spring Mix Greens with Avocado (Lenae with Jillian chopping up the Avocado)
  • Bruschetta (Momma made the marinade, Ben chopped the tomatoes, Jillian sliced and sautéed baguettes & assembled – love the team work)
  • Italian Bread with Garlic Butter (as in, NOT frozen garlic bread but Italian bread sliced and buttered – much better) (Lenae)
  • Lasagna Deliciousa (Momma & Benjamin with 4 y.o. reminding me just now that she stirred the egg and, yep, she said it, ricotta)
  • Tiramisu made with homemade CHOCOLATE ladyfingers. I cannot tell you how yummy this was but I will try…THIS WAS AMAZING! (Natalie)
That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 3:13
What’s not shared is lost,
Michelle