Thursday, May 27, 2010

Has It Really Been a Year?

One year ago I began blogging at the recommendation of my sister who suggested that it would be a new and creative way to record family memories.  Now, 138 blog posts later, I am confident that this year is sufficiently recorded and oft remembered.

Many mornings I arrive in the kitchen to find my oldest two hunkered over the computer screen reading and remembering some of their adventures or some of their parent's missteps.  
An entire new vocabulary has been introduced into our "family-speak" regarding The Wright Place blog.  Often, when I think I've secretly snapped a picture of a child doing something odd or remarkable, one of the kids can be heard announcing, "Consider yourself blogged," or "YOU have just been blogged."  

There have been moments when I couldn't get to the computer fast enough to record a memory.  Conversely, there have been days when I was unable to find a single thing to record.  My "picture folder" on the computer still bulges with un-blogged pictures and ideas that have never quite made it to the surface of my mother-logged brain.  Yet, that first evening one year ago, when I sat at the computer to "blog" the words just appeared on the page.  These words...
In a family of six, bedtime is either pure calm or complete chaos. Molly is 9 months old today. Kate is a bouncing four years. Meg is nine, a new nine, toes on the edge of all that makes one a young lady. Cole, ever the old soul is ten. I'm not certain how it is that we've been parents for a decade, but it seems that we have. 
I sat in Molly's nursery tonight at bedtime and watched what looked much like ants in an anthill as the "big kids" scurried to and fro while Darrin attempted to put them into bed. It seemed that each time he put one into bed another would "pop up" and appear out into the hallway and then disappear into another room only to be shooed back to their own room eventually. I watched all of this from the rocking chair holding a freshly awakened Molly who was wise enough not to miss this show.
Finally, everyone was kissed, tucked in and prayed with and Darrin and I walked gently down the stairs fully expecting to be followed by at least an ant or two.

A quick year seems to have passed from late that May to late this May.  Much is the same, the ants will, from time to time, still follow us down the stairs after having been tucked in and Molly still enjoys a bit of rocking before bed every now and then, but not nearly often enough.  Meg, now a new ten, is more confident in what makes one a young lady.  Cole, still an old soul in many ways, is showing some signs of the teen-who-is-to-come.  Kate is a sassy five-year-old and is this year, just as she was last year, looking forward to another (to use her own words,) "FLIP-FLOP summer!"

All of us would like to say a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all who read of our adventures.  We cherish the comments you post, the kind words you share with us in person, and the knowledge that there are people "out there" who are, in a manner, journeying with us.  We appreciate the time you spend reading about this crazy family of six and are often amazed that you keep clicking in our direction.  So, thanks.  Thanks and onward into Year #2!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Books to Go

A few weeks ago, my Man took me with him as he attended the Basics Conference near Cleveland, Ohio.  I had been looking forward to this trip for some months and thought that the date would never arrive.  
As our time to travel together crept up on us, I began ordering books from the library and picking up a book or two here and there so that I would be ready to nestle down under the covers of a quiet hotel bed full of fluffy hotel pillows and READ!
Our hotel room was perfect, bright and inviting. Here's a tour...

 I had plenty of reading material to keep me entertained while my Man was at the conference...

Looks like a huge selection for just a few days away, however, one never knows in what kind of reading "mood" she will find herself!

Our hotel was a few short miles from a large bookstore, so after dropping my Man at his conference the first day, I followed the GPS to Borders Books.  I bought a book that was recently recommended to me and read little else.  Pictures at an Exhibition by Sara Houghteling is a novel about the search for art stolen by the Nazis at the end of the Second World War.  It was a so-so read, but one that once started I felt compelled to finish.

Pictures at an Exhibition (Vintage)

I also added many new titles to my stack while traveling.  I found these at a used bookstore:
The Book Thief

Little Bee: A Novel

Mollie Peer: or, The Underground Adventure of the Moosepath League

Away: A Novel

I found more than a few treasures at the bookstore in the church where the Basics Conference took place:

Family Worship (Family Guidance series) by Joel Beeke
God's Alphabet for Life: Devotions for Young Children also by Joel Beeke

Good Manners for Today's Kids: Teaching Your Child the Right Things to Say and Do

The Book of Romans (Journibles) (The 17:18 Series)

and two from my favorite "series"...the Journibles. Journibles are much like the blank journals you find all over the place, blank inside with lined pages.  These journals however, have a different purpose.  The series is called The 17:18 Series, named for Deuteronomy 17:18 in which Moses gives instructions to the future kings of Israel.  
"The king is commanded to not simply acquire a copy of the law from the 'scroll publishing house,' but to hand-write his own copy of the law....Thirty-four hundred years later, educators are 'discovering' that students that physically write out their notes by hand have a much greater retention rate than simply hearing or visually reading the information.  Apparently, God knew this to be true of the kings of Israel also.  From such understanding came the conception of this series of books."
~Rob Wynalda, Journible Designer

My Man gave me my first Journible for Christmas, the book of John, and I've been enjoying a much richer time with the Word ever since.  It was with great delight that I rounded the corner at Books on the Park to find an entire shelf-full of these wonderful study tools.  I can now claim three.  John, Romans, and Galatians~2 Thessalonians.  After a few weeks of copying Romans, I have gained, among other things, a new appreciation for the beauty of the language used in that ancient book.  To find out more about Journibles, click on the word Journible or on the link:  to view everything that this excellent publisher has to offer.

I shall forever refer to this little getaway as "My Book Retreat."  My time away to experience some rest and relaxation turned in to an experience of reading, relaxing and reloading (my bookshelf, that is).

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience:  this is the ideal life. 
 ~Mark Twain

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mamma's Strawberry Shortcake

Last week my Man and I took a short trip for a pastor's conference.  We "farmed-out" the kids to both sets of our parents.  When we met Pappa and Mamma to pick up Cole after our trip, Pappa gave us the most beautiful strawberries that he'd picked.  They were big and sweet and...

This single act of sharing set into motion strawberry cravings of large proportions which sent us off to the store for more strawberries.  The berries at the store were also big and sweet and juicy.

We decided that there was nothing left to do but make one of Mamma's simple and delicious shortcakes. 
Unfortunately, as I gathered the ingredients, I discovered that I was out of baking powder. Then I did what every modern housewife does when in a pickle, I stepped to the computer and Googled the possible substitutions for baking powder.  

A simple substitution was possible from what I had in stock, so onward we charged.  The recipe is simple, straightforward, and can be made without a mixer.  
(Without an electric mixer anyway. The mixer used for this recipe is none other than Strawberry Short-Kate!)

The recipe is also included at the bottom of this post.

First the flour...

Then the clever baking powder substitute which is for one teaspoon of baking powder, substitute 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. 

 (Doubled in this recipe that calls for 2 teaspoons of baking powder.)

Add sugar and salt, and stir with fork or whisk until well combined.

Next come the wet ingredients:  milk, very soft butter, and an egg.

Stir together until very stiff batter/dough is formed.

Place in a greased 8 or 9 inch round pan and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Meanwhile on the other side of the kitchen...
Strawberry Girl is capping strawberries with a spoon.

A spoon and some "Hello Blue" fingernails!

Once capped, the berries are sliced with my Pampered Chef egg slicer.  

Don't ya love a good multi-tasker?
...and bright blue nails?

Sliced and ready to go, sugar (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) is added to "bring on the juice"!
If you can stand to let them sit for a minute or ten, the strawberries will reward you with some wonderful red juice. 

All the better to pour over the warm shortcake that has just finished baking...

We like to cut ours into wedges and then cut each wedge in half like a sandwich before loading it down with the strawberries.

Looks like perfection?  Almost...

It can't be totally complete without a scoop or two of ice cream and maybe some milk or some whipped cream to finish it off.
Strawberry Girl likes hers with the works!

Strawberry Short-Kate wants little more than the berries themselves.  But she DOES want her very own bowl.
So does her Daddy.

We made two shortcakes and enjoyed one of them with strawberries and milk the next morning too!  Here's the recipe:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup milk
3 Tablespoons very soft butter
1 egg

(My Mother-in-law says to dot the top of the shortcake with butter before you bake it for a golden crust.)

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scenes from a Sunday


...can... it...

Yea Molly!!  But baby, you forgot your socks.

Good bye BLUE nails!  

Watching her purple toe nails dry. 
(She was told NOT to sit on the couch with wet nails, soooo she called the piano stool in to very active duty.)

A little warm up of "Jesus Loves Me".

After the service...the bag brigade!
(Gotta love a man secure enough to carry a pink purse!)

The PKs in waiting...
(PK = Pastor's Kids.  Waiting for the pink purse guy to pick them up at the door in the family van.)

Molly--shared the nursery today with 11 other babies!  She's plum tuckered.
 (Notice I didn't say she shared with 11 other babies in the nursery today - that certainly didn't happen.)

Cole - bag stuffed with oodles of sermon notes and is ready for some lunch!

Meg - grew into a winsome young lady during the sermon!

Kate - snagged the pink purse from her Dad and is feeling rather sassy while she waits.

After a filling lunch with a wonderful gang of friends ...

Looks like this is gonna be a spectacular pitch...

...and quite a hit too!

Unwinding with some popcorn and a favorite show.

Then, off to bed to start the week all over again!

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