Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's Goin' On.......

Since I last posted about the joys of July 4th, July has come and gone (almost) and it has definitely not been a good month. From the highs to the lows..........Vacation Bible School ran the week beginning the 13th. I was lucky enough to be able to take the Mighty Matt and the Curiously Cute Christian with me. We picked up the boys before dinner, fed them took them to VBS and then Mommy picked them up. It was wonderful having the little darlin's but it kept me running. The down side is that the Lovely Lucas couldn't (or wouldn't) come or that week would have been complete. I worked in the crafts for the week with the Kindergarten thru 2nd grade. Not a bad bunch of kidlets, but some of the teachers I seriously considered laying hands on and NOT in the pentecostal manner! We put together a quilt top made of hand prints to send to the missionaries that we sponsored that week, now my task, and one I am dreading, is trying to get someone to actually quilt it for me.

In the middle of this, the sump pump went belly up. Now those of you who have sump pumps, KNOW what happens when that happens. Our sump also handles sewage, so we were just thankful that it went when the tank was filled from laundry drainage and not, well, you know. We actually had to have a plumber in (much to Joe's chagrin, he likes to think he can fix ANYTHING). We were upset as it had failed earlier (6 years ago) and we thought it should have had a longer life span. We called a different plumber and found out that the last installation was with a rainwater sump, made only to pump out ground water, not sewage (no wonder it burned out) and when he replaced it with the RIGHT pump, everything worked better than it had after the last installation (no wonder) and he charged us $500 for the pump and his service time (if any of y'all live near me call RL Mu th - they rock) and 80% was the cost of the pump. The last guy charged almost that amount earlier.

Also, I FINALLY got another set of wheels. A '96 Jeep. Nothing fancy, but it gets me where I am going. We are also acquiring a '90 Chrysler New Yorker. Seems that Jamie will be doing student teaching soon, so alas, we will have another driver in the family. At 18, she will finally be getting her permit and learning to drive (this was 'our' decision -or should I say her father's decision, not hers). Now to sit on pins and needles to see what the results are for her loan applications for school. We need to get this taken care of ASAP, but other things kept coming up sorta like mushrooms in the dampness, you think you got it all taken care of, then more pop up.

Now the worst part. Baby boy, the Mighty Matthew, ended up in the hospital this weekend. He went to the local and they sent him to Children's Hospital in Philly. He had an intestinal blockage that needed to be surgically removed. Now dont' get me wrong, CHoP is THE finest children's hospital in world as far as I am concerned, but my grandbaby shouldn't have to be hospitalized. I cried and I prayed and bought him stuff. He was lucky, they removed the problem and sent him home, so I didn't get to the hospital, but was able to go by the apartment and give him all the little books, cars and toys I bought to keep him occupied (ie: "still" - yeah, right, he's five). In the interim, I also found a knapsack for school for him "Lightening McQueen'.....and that now opens a whole 'nuther can of worms.....My baby is starting kindergarten!!!!! (baby Matt in his penguin hat)

More when the eyes stop leaking.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Weekend Is Past!!!!

Okay, I waited until I was over the weekend to post this so I could get my scrambled thoughts together.
The weather here in the eastern section of Pennsylvania was gorgeous on the 4th. Mid-70's, low humidity and NO BUGS!!! Yeah.

We put up the screened tent in the yard, borrowed a long table from the church, asked everyone to bring chairs and anything else they wanted to and prepare to have a good time. We only had two 'no's' to our invites. Hubby's eldest sister, the chiropractor/carnival worker (don't ask, too long and weird to explain) would be in Maine at a fair, but she at least sent regrets. His youngest brother and family, decided to go elsewhere, information I pried out of them on Friday night...Look people, I don't have a problem if you don't want to come to my party, I can put on my big girl panties and deal with that, all I ask is that you let me know enough in advance that I don't buy too much food..... which turns us to another subject.

Food. HE said, don't buy too much. We were having 20 people. I bought 40 pre-made burgers, 24 pre-made turkey burgers (we have a few chickatarians here) and 5 lbs. of Italian sausage (put in crockpot with peppers and onions), I made shish-ke-babs using 5 lbs of cubed beef interspaced with peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. 3 lbs. of popcorn shrimp (picture 1 is of shrimp on the grill - please don't look at hubby's tummy overhanging the grill) and 3 lbs. of jalapeno poppers (picture 3 is of the poppers recipe compliments of the Pioneer Woman's website, 10 lbs. of potato salad, 5 lbs. of spaghetti salad, devilled eggs made from 48 whole eggs and a vat of 'Mom-mom's pudding' (see this referenced in's archives for a full definition of Mom-mom's pudding). Hubby's baby sister brought a huge bread bowl filled with spinach dip, her middle daughter and fiance brought a tray of soft pretzels and dip, and his sister-in-law brought an apple cake. Eldest son, the TRAINED chef, brought a bowl of jello (don't get me started there). We had very few left overs.

Interesting tidbits:
Baby sister's eldest daughter brought her fiance for a first time meeting with the 'whole' clan. Since her dad died suddenly a few years ago, her two uncles in attendance decided they would have to 'check him out' to see if he was good enough for 'our little girl' (she's 26 working on a Masters). Stan and Ollie soon found out that Carlos was probably nuttier than they are and they informed darling niece that he would do.......her younger sister who also had a fiance in attendance was left to fend for herself, since fiance, my hub (her oldest uncle) and her Pop-pop had all been/or currently are firefighters so they bonded over telling war stories and how 'real' Rescue Me is...the rest of the nieces just terrorized my youngest son as he was the only 'boy' in attendance.

Eldest son came with his fiance and their little boy. His ex-wife came with their little boy and her other little boy. This way a very greedy gramma can get to see ALL her grandbabies and the family can ooooh and aaahhhhh over all of them. My eldest grandson has a vendetta against hubby's middle brother's baby girl....Ash is 16, Matt is 5, both had water guns and water balloons.....imagine the rest (photo 2 is Matt firing on Ash with help from his Daddy).

Games were played (softball with the migrating bases), food was devoured, kidlets played in the pool (picture #3 of all grandbabies and Uncle Josh), people got wet, it got late, they got tired.....everyone went their merry ways around dusk to their various destinations. Some to fireworks displays (the grandbabies), some home to sleep off their dining escapades (BIL and FIL) and the engaged nieces spent the rest of the evening with their respective intendeds. ;)

I crashed on the couch at 10 o'clock. No fireworks, no clean-up (that was for the next day). My holiday was complete however, when on Sunday night I called my widowed father-in-law to see that everyone from the lower end (Lower Bucks County to our Lower Lehigh County) got home okay. He said he went to church that morning and lit a candle of thanksgiving that we all came together with no sickness or death pulling us together and we had a safe and happy time. I was touched. I took that as a sign that I did have a great Fourth of July party.

And by the way, since there must be some indication of cheese and ooziness in this blog......the cheese didn't ooze from the poppers, but Carlos quite literally oozed home. I was told he still was full on Sunday! I take that to mean I did good.

Note: please pardon the placement and mismash of how the pictures are posted, I'm just getting the hang of this blog thingy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Getting Ready for the Fourth

Got to get my behind in gear, as there are only 2 (if you count what is left of today) more days until my house is invaded by relatives, friends, friends of relatives....that is IF any of them RSVP me!!!! Only Sister-in-law, the Darling Debbie, and Erica, mom of my eldest dearest grandbaby Matthew and his brother the Curiously Cute Christian, let me know they were coming....The rest of them, feh.......I guess they figure I'll always be here, so if they don't get any better offers, they'll show. If it wasn't so late, I would let those know who said they were coming that I changed locales. Let the rest of them get here and find no one home!!!!! Aren't I bad? You know I would never do it, but it is soooo nice to fantasize about.

Bought four tubs for ice to put drinks in....only bought 20 cases of soda, one case of beer, one case of wine coolers, three case of water and a whole bunch of food (I haven't gotten that far enough in my plans to have actually bought it yet - gotta clean out the fridge to make room).

Dinner tonight, sausage and peppers. Big whoop of a recipe, parboil hot and mild sausage links, plop in crock pot, cover with sliced bell peppers and onions and let from rolls. I plan on dinner on the fly tonight as I have to go to Bethlehem to take Joshua to scouts......I know, I hate going there, but poor, poor, pitiful hubby doesn't feel well (can't you see the pity I feel 'oozing' from me?)......Oh well, I'll leave him in charge of getting the girls motivated to help me get ready.......that should fix his red wagon. Enough for now........maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Profile Picture

Yes, that is me. Around five or so years ago when I was still very active in Boy Scouts (what, you think I wear that uniform because it's sooooo flattering?). I think that is the latest picture I have and so definitely (intentionally) out of focus, but it's me......go ahead hurl your insults. Inquiring minds wanna know.

July is Here!!!! ARRRRGGGGH

Well, here it is, the first of July. The year is beginning it's second half, and what do I have to show for it. We are having a 4th of July party here on Saturday and the house isn't even near to being clean.....(that whirling sound you hear is my dear departed MIL spinning in her grave - she was the prototype for Mr. Clean). I still have to make a menu and follow up on the invitations and THEN get the food.......

Tonight, however, is our church's program Prayer in the Park. Instead of the usual Wednesday night prayer meetings held my the majority of all Protestant churches, ours opts for a covered dish dinner at the local park followed by corporate prayer (if you don't know what corporate prayer is, well, you just haven't been to church lately, now, have you?). My family is on the rotation for setting this up this week. Couple that with my other duties I have assumed, it will be busy.

Our church provides meals for those who are ill, shut in or otherwise in need of temporary assistance with preparing meals. The lady who normally does this is on a much needed vacation, so I was asked to help her by rounding up the posse of cooks and deliverers for the next two weeks. Easier said than done. One, however, has been a true joy. She is, to say the least, the heart of the church. At approximately 96 years young, there are very few people, old, new or in-between that Mildred doesn't know or at least prays for on a daily basis. She is slowly winding down and is currently in need of assistance. But to offer to help her is met with 'what can I do for you?'. She always has a good thing to say to you or about you, is always happy even knowing her time remaining with us is short. You know she is truly happy about getting to meet the Savior she has been praising all of her life, but you can't help but feel sad that this tiny spark of vitality will soon no longer be with us. Is it selfish to wish we could hold her close and tell Death not to take her from us? Probably. But knowing her deep and abiding faith, you KNOW Death will not have the final laugh, there will be no victory for the grave. The old, tired body she now occupies will be replaced when she is taken into the presence of her Master and I know she, of all people, will be met with 'well done, good and faithful servant'.. Enough here, the keys on the computer are starting to dampen, must be a leak in the ceiling (don't get me started on leaks).

Back to PIP, as Prayer in the Park is referred to. Last week I made up little disposable soup cups to take to Mildred. As with most covered dish dinners, there are tons of this and a little of that, all mingled on long tables waiting for the convergence of the hordes. I took the little cups and put a little of this in one and a little of another in another cup. Not that I thought I was doing anything spectacular, just giving a little taste to someone who has been eating like a sparrow. All this week, every time I run into someone from the church, I have heard about these cups, how much she liked them. I stopped by her house and she actually had them washed and wanted me to re-use them this week!!!!! She has been a real boost to my spirits this week, while I have been trying to buoy hers.....

I have to get on with the trapping of life and stop typing and actually get up and get things done. So this ends, at least for now, the most recent of my know....cheese.