Monday, June 29, 2009

Smells of Home

I rode home from town late this afternoon with the windows down and the sun roof open. What I noticed were the scents. I love the way George County smells. There are so many possibilities. Sometimes you get the fragrance of cut hay. Other times, just a trace of honeysuckle. Today, I kept thinking I'd come across a spot in the road that would give me the flavor of rain, but it just never happened. I did pass a place where some limbs were burning. The smoke drifted across the road, bringing to mind fireplaces and bonfires on days much cooler than this. My favorite stretch of road passes a forest of pines. When the sun heats all the straw that carpets the ground, it releases a spicy scent that I prefer to all others.

Now, before I give you the wrong impression, don't forget that there are other aromas that are often very strong in this area: cow manure and dead skunk!

Just remember: without the malodorous, the rest wouldn't be nearly as pleasant.

New Office Art

I got new artwork for my office this weekend. Friday night, El brought me a picture she had drawn and then painted. I was so impressed, I asked her if I could hang it in my office. It's based on a picture in a library book she checked out this week, but with some changes she liked. I love the sun (which is not like the picture in the book!)
I hung it above this picture that Em did a few years ago. It is based on the 23rd Psalm. Dr. T was preaching through Psalms and thought the 23rd would be good for an art show. Anyone who wanted could draw their interpretation and the artwork was displayed on easels on the platform that night. Em's came from verse 6, "...and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (check out the side of Jesus' throne: forever is a long time and she wanted Him to be comfortable!)

This was my vision of the 23rd Psalm, based on verse 3, "He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake." I love all the different names for God in the bible. I tried to get the path of righteousness idea in there along with names for His different roles in the Psalm.

So now you know what I see when I sit at my desk. It's a nice view.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Family Union Cookies

A few weekends ago, we went to a family reunion. Mr. H's grandmother brought some of his favorite cookies. He wanted me to get the recipe, so I called Grandma the next week and got the recipe. She got it from her mother, known to the family as Big Mother (even though she was a tiny little woman!) Grandma told me that Big Mother called them Swedish Spritz cookies. I looked them up and found that they can be made by using a cookie press. I have one that my grandmother gave me that I've never used. I thought this was the perfect time to bring the 2 sides of the family together in the kitchen.

The recipe and the press

Little flowers ready for the oven
The disk I used and the finished flowers

El picked out the first disk for us to try. I think it was the best choice. She suggested the one with parallel slots next. And then I wanted to try the x or + (depending on how you look at it). I'm not sure what the result is supposed to look like. All the cookies beside it in the following picture came from the same disk.
All in all, I think the flower came out best, but they ALL taste good. I couldn't get anything that resembled a cookie using the disk that is just little dots. It produced what looked like blonde chocolate chips. We ate the nine little chips raw, changed disks, and moved on.

I am so pleased with the results. I just wish that Big Mother and Mo Nell could see the results. I'm going to make sure that Grandma sees the union.


On Hwy 613, right in front of our church, there are railroad tracks. They run diagonally across the highway. The church is actually on the west side of 613, not on the east like this map shows. I know that because I've been there before! I also know that the little road that looks like it runs north from Cemetery Road isn't really there: The church parking lot is there.

View Larger Map

Yesterday a construction crew dug up the tracks and blocked the road. It's not a big road work area if you're going by space: just enough to block the road. But there is a mighty deep hole right in the middle of the highway.

That part of the road is at the intersection of Barton Agricola Road and Hwy 613. You can get around the mess by cutting through the church parking lot and then, either turning right and continuing on your way down Barton Agricola Road, or making a left down Cemetery Road and another left on whatever the first road to the left is called. Then you'll come back out to Hwy 613 again.

The point is, there are no detour signs. You either know where you're going or you don't. There was a lot of traffic through our church parking lot yesterday and will be again today. I hope those people all know where they are going. Maybe now that they know their way around our parking lot, they'll come in for a visit.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Abe & Betsy

Our buddy Kel didn't have such a great week. Being sick is finally catching up with him. In an effort to bring a smile, I am posting this picture which was taken 2 years ago (I think) of a 4th grade American History play. Abraham Lincoln and Betsy Ross, photographed together for the first and only time! (She had a really neat bonnet that I made, but refused to wear it, Grrrrr...)

Don't you love Abe's cool shoes!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

10 years ago

A friend of mine from church handed me this picture a few weeks ago. It was taken over 10 years ago. El is now 12 years old, but in this picture (stamped April 1999 on the back), she's almost 2. The older girl is the daughter of our then minister of music. Their girls and our girls were good friends.

El can now step over the child gate that they are hugging over!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How Hot?

I passed by the weather station read-out a few minutes ago. I actually saw it say 104, but as I went to get the camera, the temperature dropped. By the time I got a picture I could read, it had dropped down to 103. The clock is off by 2 hours. The picture was actually taken at 4:35 p.m.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dr. Pepper vs. The Shark

El asked me to get her a Dr. Pepper while I was in town this afternoon. I thought I'd surprise her (since she's without Em to keep her company this week) and get a 24 pack. And then I thought I'd put a couple in the refrigerator to cool off. I got the first one out of the pack fine. The next one slipped out of my hand and hit the concrete floor hard. It immediately opened and sprayed its contents all over me and my kitchen. When I say all over, I mean ALL OVER. My hair was wet and sticky. I couldn't see because my glasses were covered. My Team Keldon shirt and my jeans must have absorbed most of the liquid, because the can was empty but the puddle on the floor was smaller than I was expecting. (still pretty big but not 12 ounces worth!)

Was I mad? Did I say ugly words? Nope! I thought to myself, "This is a great time to try out my new mop!" Granted, it's not a regular mop: it's a steam mop. My favorite mother-in-law gave it to me this weekend and I hadn't had a chance to try it out. After soaking up the puddle with a towel and changing out of my saturated shirt and jeans, I gave it a whirl.

Oooooo.... I like!

Then I wished I had something like that to clean all that Dr. Pepper stickiness off the front of the stove, the dishwasher, and my upper and lower cabinets!.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my dad. Those shades are sooo him. This was taken at the zoo when I was about 3 years old. My dad loved me and thought I could do anything.

And here's the father of my 3 daughters. He loves them and lets them know that he does. He loves their mother, too!

Yesterday, I spent the day with him. We started off going by his Mom's to see what was wrong with her lawn mower. (Not only is he a good dad, he's a good son, too. He learned well from his dad.) Then we went to Mobile and test drove a VW GTI and a Golf. We shopped for clothes for him and me and then met up with the girls, who had been shopping on their own, and went to a movie. Mr. H, El and I saw "Up" and the eldest and Em saw "The Proposal." Afterwards, we went to Cheeburger, Cheeburger (at his request). Then we came home and watched our first Netflix delivery: The Birds. It's been a long time since I saw that movie.

It was a perfect day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Knight in a Hawaiian Shirt

I was in Wal-Mart at lunchtime and remembered that we were just about out of cat food. I went back and sure enough there was the only brand my cats will eat. They had lots of the small sized bags right where I could reach them and just one solitary bag of the medium size that I usually get and it was all the way at the back of the shelf in a tunnel created by the bags on either side. Being vertically challenged, I knew it was out of my reach.

There were 2 people having a conversation at the end of the aisle, one of whom was a tall man who appeared about my age. I know quite a few people in Lucedale by sight, but I had never seen the man before. They were talking about his church and then her church and then started to part ways. I asked the man if he could help me reach something and he smiled and said, "Sure." Well, as it turned out, it was too far back for him, too. He reached in so that his head and shoulders were under the shelf above and still couldn't reach. But this gentleman was determined to help. He went around to the end of the aisle (since what I wanted was about the 3rd product from the end) and tried to reach the back from there and push it forward. No luck. However, there was a rake on top of the dog food stacked at the end, so he tried that. Still no luck! A lady from our church saw me there and asked if I was causing trouble and I admitted that I was. She said what we needed was a small child to crawl up into the tunnel and get it. She actually asked a little girl on the next aisle, and being the intelligent child that she was, she declined the proposal!

I decided to take the small bag and come back later in the week for a larger one. But I learned that there really ARE nice friendly people around that will help you when you are in need.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I was looking for some pictures on my camera today and found these that I had taken on El's birthday last month. They are NOT party pictures!! We were on our way to Mobile for lunch when we saw something.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them. If you look just above the trees and telephone lines directly above the oncoming truck, you will see something in the sky.

In the picture below, the something is just to the right of the farther traffic lights.

Here, you can tell what it is. Look above the traffic lights.

In this picture, it was making the circle. We thought it might be crop-dusting, but we never saw anything coming out.
We suspect he was just having a good time buzzing traffic on Hwy 98!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Girls to Camp

I've been taking girls to Camp Garaywa for 12 summers now. This is the last time that one of those girls will be mine. El finished the 6th grade last month and that is the last year for GA campers. I can remember taking the eldest for the first time. She always enjoyed it so much. She went after the 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th grades.

There were a couple of years after that when one of my girls wasn't going to stay for the week, but somehow I was still taking Agricola's girls up there. Those years, Em and El just came along for the ride. When the eldest finished 9th grade, she would go back and work as a CIT (counsellor in training). Essentially, a CIT is free labor. They don't get paid, but they don't have to pay to come to camp, either. They assist the full time counsellors during the day, but don't have the same overnight responsibilities for the campers.

I remember the momentous year when all 3 girls were there the same week. Mr. H and I spent the week in Memphis having a glorious time. This year, they are going various places, but none at the same time. The eldest spent last week in Orlando. This week El is at Garaywa, and next week Em will be at youth camp in North Carolina. Next summer, Em and El will be together for summer camp again. I don't know what the eldest will be doing: possibly chasing tornadoes through Oklahoma! Time will tell.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Family Reunion in Pearl

We had a Grant family reunion Saturday at the park in Pearl. Mr. H's grandmother, Granny Grant, is 92 years old. That's her in the striped shirt. Her kids, grands-, greats- and even 2 great-greats were in attendance.
It was a beautiful day for a party. We got there at 11 and the breeze was blowing and there were a few puffy clouds. Couldn't ask for a better day in June.

Here's Granny Grant again with one of her daughters (the small one) and 2 granddaughters.

Below is Mr. H's mom, Granny Grant, Caroline, and Brenda. In the past few years, the girls have lost their brother William Hall and their baby sister Judy. But their families were there to represent them.
These are the grandkids. That's Mr. H, the tall guy with no hair! William Hall's kids are on the left, Caroline's kids are on the right. Mr. H's sister couldn't come because the trip from Arizona would have been a bit much for the weekend. Judy's son arrived after the pictures were taken. He didn't get off work until 2. Her daughter is in Chicago with an Academic Competetition Team this week. We let her slide...

These good looking kids are the great grandkids. Em and the eldest are 2nd and 3rd from the left. El is in the plaid dress. Our eldest and the 4 guys on the back row were all born the same year: 1988.
These 2 little guys are the great-greats. Braxton needed a little support from his dad for this picture. That little guy is a miracle. He is 6 months old now. He was born several months prematurely, but is coming right along. He looked like he had a great time today, had smiles for everyone. The other young gentleman loves to talk to people. What a conversationalist! We saw him and his parents on our way home at the Bass Pro Shop. He was sound asleep in the buggy!

and what is a family reunion without food...

Here is one of my contributions: a chocolate trifle, requested by our eldest. MMMmmmm...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friends of Flat Stanley

Flat Keldon, Flat Sk., Flat Parker, and Flat Sy. came to VBS as stand-ins for their "not-flat" counterparts. (If you never read any Flat Stanley books, check him out here.)

Keldon is a just-finished 6th grader that is having chemo treatments this week. Parker is a just-finished 1st grader that had hip surgery last week. Sk. and Sy. (soon to be 4th grade and kindergarten age) are a brother and sister that will soon be heading (with their parents) to Costa Rica for language school and then on to Lima, Peru as full-time missionaries. These 4 kids would have been here for VBS this week if BIG life hadn't kept them from it. So someone had the great idea to create giant paper dolls of them and to take the "flattened" version to every class, taking pictures along the way. The pictures will be sent to the live 3-D kid showing him or her what they would have been doing had they been able to be here. (El tells me that Flat Keldon got sucked into the A/C intake and had to be rescued... rather wrinkled but still intact!!)

I love the people in charge of our VBS. They "get it."

Note: Thanks to Brittney (who worked with the preschoolers and posted LOTS of pictures to Facebook) I found this picture of Flat Sy. with her class.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Family Night

I love VBS family night. There are lots of people that come to see their children have a good time. We have tried to make it as family friendly as possible. We have hot dogs, drinks and chips for anyone who shows up. There are inflatables, a train and a rock wall for the kids. This year we had a dunking booth. Mark told the kids that if they raised $500 by today for our missionary project, he would get in the dunking booth. He was looking pretty soggy when I was closing up my office!

And I got pictures of none of that! I was too busy inside and by the time I got outside and located El, she was on her way down the rockwall! And I had choir practice, too. I'm betting someone else has pictures they'll post.

What I did get pictures of tonight was the line up outside at just before 6:30.

There were kids everywhere.

This shot is of 1 section of our sanctuary. It was reserved for the preschoolers and babies whose moms were working in VBS. I love the 6 seat stroller. That's it on the front row next to the lady on her knees.

I know it's selfish of me, but my favorite part is when ALL the kids get on the platform together and sing a song that we have worked on during the week. I get to lead 200 voices and 400 hands praising God! I live all year for that moment. I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father asks me to do this job for Him.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

VBS Day 2

The word of the day today is WORSHIP. Why should we worship Jesus?
Because of Who He is.

And because of Who He is, no one can do the things He can do.

We talked (and sang!) about 6 of the miracles He did. We wondered if Jesus' feet left ripples on the surface of the Sea of Galilee or if maybe His feet didn't even touch the water.

We wondered if maybe the only reason He turned the water into wine at the wedding was because He was an obedient son Whose mother had requested it.

We wondered if Jairus got his money back when he canceled his daughter's funeral. (We figured he probably didn't care!)

We talked about whether the crowd thought it was icky that Jesus made mud with spit and then rubbed it on the blind man's eyes. We figure the (formerly) blind man didn't think so! He may never have wanted to wash his face again!

I asked if they knew of any other of Jesus' miracles. I love to see how much they know. One young man brought up the soldier in the garden whose ear was cut off by Peter and then healed by Jesus. We wondered if it left a scar and think not because Jesus healed it perfectly. We wondered if it changed the soldier's attitude about arresting Jesus. Could he have been the same soldier who, at the foot of the cross, looked up at Jesus and said, "Surely this man was the Son of God."?

I think today, we wanted to emphasize that these are not just stories. These things were written down by eye-witnesses so that we'd know what really happened. I wanted our kids to put their imaginations to work and wonder what would it have been like to BE THERE.

VBS musical

Here are some pictures from our VBS musical. El had one of the speaking roles.

Her longtime friends Kel (plaid shorts)and Emmie (blond) are there, too. Will in the hat is a bit younger. and somehow I missed Ash altogether. I'll have to look and see if I got her.

This is from tomorrow's song. I can't wait.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Didgeridoo

My didgeridoo is finished.

Mr. H did all the mechanical stuff (cutting, heating, fixing the spray paint can) and I did the rest (painting and making the wax mouthpiece).

It's made of a piece of 2" PVC that is about 4 feet long. We belled out the bottom a tiny bit by heating it and stuffing a bottle into the end while it was soft.

We did the same thing in reverse by tightening a hose clamp around the other end after heating it. Krylon makes a spray paint especially for plastic and that's what we sprayed it with. The color is Sun-dried Tomato. I wasn't too sure I'd like that color, but it's not bad. Then I just free-handed some graphic designs, mostly dots. The mouth piece is melted paraffin wax that has been pressed around the top to seal better against your face/mouth.It looks pretty cool. I just wish I sounded as good as my husband. If it's a musical wind instrument, he can play it.

Didgeridoos don't really have a wide range. They are mostly drone instruments. The technique is mainly blowing raspberries into it. The kids will have fun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

VBS Preparations

Our Vacation Bible School starts next Monday. I have never been in a church that does such excellent job of preparation. They will be working all week to turn ABC into Australia.

This is our church sanctuary. There is another large poster of a train station on the other side of the tree. This is where I'll be leading the music stop next week.

This is a pass-through area from the old building to the more recent addition of the sanctuary. It is a suggestion of the Sydney Opera House. There is a big poster of the Opera House on the wall opposite these curtains.

This lighthouse had made an appearance in several bible schools and children's musicals since its construction (thank you, Mr. H) about 10 years ago.

This is a tree constructed for decoration in our fellowship hall. Yesterday afternoon the koala was in the top of the tree. He must feel safe enough here to come to ground level.

And with all those ladies putting all this wonderful stuff together, someone has to look after their little ones. There are always a bunch of kids here during prep week. Sometimes the big ones help with the decorations and sometimes they take care of the younger ones.

And these guys will be making an appearance!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I promise I will post pictures and recollections from our trip to Natchez, but we've been very busy the past 2 days. Some things just must take precedence ( like the tail gate party and a new phone for Em.....)